Improves our Health and Wellbeing

Graphic explaining how we're improving our health and wellbeing, as described below

A healthy community is a key theme of our Programme for Government, and a healthy community needs a safe and secure transport environment, which in turn gives us the confidence to make bolder, greener and healthier travel decisions. Our actions reflect our vision of making our communities cohesive, sustainably healthy and great places to live and work.

Will be safe and secure for all

  • We will implement a National Speed Indicator and increase the use of visual deterrents and enforcement across the road network with the aim of improving speed limit compliance and further enhancing safety across the road network. We have worked with the operating companies and local authorities to install speed indicators across the country. Indicators are now configured to collect data which will be used to evidence speed compliance on Scotland roads and can be broken down by road type and vehicle type. The monitoring and research of speed provides insight into not only speed compliance but driver behaviours. The collected data will inform an analytical product that will be used to identify patterns and issues, thereby focusing partnership efforts in the right places on the road network.
  • We are working to ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20 mph. A task group has been established to help determine the number of roads affected and communication plans are currently being developed, alongside research to shape a national campaign that will focus on promoting the benefits of lower speeds and encourage behaviour change pre and post implementation. The number of appropriate roads have been identified and the task group have agreed on the optimum route for delivery to meet the 2025 deadline. Highland Council have begun implementing 20 mph speed limits on their roads with other local authorities expected to reduce limits on their respective networks in 2024/25. Full implementation of this policy will have a positive impact on the perceptions of road danger. It will help to create more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods, encouraging people to walk wheel and cycle, supporting Scotland’s health, road safety and active travel aspirations.
  • We are working with Police Scotland and Scottish Government Justice teams to develop an online reporting system for dangerous driving, making it easier to submit digital evidence to report poor road user behaviour and to support making Scotland’s roads safer for all – especially for pedestrians and cyclists. Police Scotland plan to utilise the Digital Evidence Sharing Capability (DESC) Programme, currently in pilot in Dundee, which will allow a request for digital evidence to be sent to a member of the public for submission. The DESC based solution is predicated on an assessment of a crime already having been established. Full implementation of DESC is being considered alongside other infrastructure and IT spends, in light of the 2024/25 budget settlement.
  • Over 2023 and 2024, we are helping local authorities deliver Low Emissions Zones (LEZs) in Scotland’s four largest cities. This is a key initiative to improve urban air quality and to ensure that everyone, but particularly the oldest, youngest and those with pre-existing medical conditions, are protected from the harmful impacts of poor air quality in our city centres. On 5 April 2023, an online vehicle emission checker and a Blue Badge exemption registration scheme were launched. Phase 2 of the LEZ in Glasgow commenced enforcement on 1 June 2023. Extensive awareness campaigns have been led at national level by Transport Scotland and at local authority level by Glasgow City Council. Dundee is expected to start its LEZ enforcement on 30 May 2024, followed by Edinburgh and Aberdeen which will are expected on 1 June 2024. Any lessons learned from the launch of Glasgow’s enforcement will be shared with the other cities.
  • We will introduce regulations to provide Local Authorities with the tools to be able to issue Penalty Charge Notices for cars parking on pavements, at dropped kerbs and double parking to bring national enforcement of pavement parking bans in 2023, with exemptions as designated by local authorities. We will also work with local authorities to provide support and ensure that local transport strategies fairly consider the needs of climate change, as well as the impact on road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and disabled car users in their approach to car parking.

Will enable us to make healthy travel choices

  • The Active Travel budget is being used to support people in making healthier travel choices by making it easier to walk or cycle for short daily journeys with the provision of new and improved infrastructure in our communities, and also connectivity into our public transport network, meaning more people can move away from single-use private car journeys and toward more sustainable modes, which is our vision as set out in the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy.
  • We are implementing the Active Travel Transformation Project to help realise our commitment to prioritise walking, wheeling and cycling. We need to ensure that our delivery practices maximise outcomes and provide infrastructure at the pace and scale we need for transformational change. Within the 2023-24 budget, almost £170 million has been allocated to fund infrastructure projects, behaviour change initiatives and improving access to bikes for people of all ages and abilities, meaning more people can move away from single-use private car journeys and toward more sustainable modes, which is our vision as set out in the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy
  • The £20 million Active Travel Transformation Fund has brought forward the delivery of ambitious local authority-led infrastructure projects. This has introduced a new delivery and funding approach, prioritising direct capital funding from Transport Scotland to delivery partners, to help expedite delivery of Active Travel infrastructure, and will help ensure increased budget from 2024 to 2025 can be maximised.

Will help make our communities great places to live

  • We continue to support local authorities in 2023-24 through the Community Bus Fund to look at different ways of delivering bus services in their areas and make use of the bus provisions in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. The remaining regulations and guidance to fully implement the bus franchising and partnership powers will be introduced throughout 2024.
  • In September 2023, we laid regulations that enable local transport authorities to explore the bus franchising and partnership powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. From 4 December 2023, local transport authorities can work with operators to improve the quality and efficiency of local services through a Bus Services Improvement Partnership or develop a franchising framework to help them revitalise bus networks according to their own needs.
  • Through the active travel budget, we are currently supporting the design of an active freeway network for Scotland where people can walk, wheel and cycle safely and confidently on high-demand corridors in Scotland’s large urban areas. Over the period of this plan design work will be developed in collaboration with delivery partners.
  • Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme includes initiatives that ensure projects are informed by local need and delivering spaces people are attracted to spending time in, rather than simply passing through. This can support more cohesive communities as well as creating footfall for local businesses.
  • We work with local authorities, regional transport partnerships, and other stakeholders across Scotland to support the development and appraisal of local transport plans and proposals which are appropriate to their local area. We also advise on the production of transport business cases which may evolve from these appraisals, including those that emerge from the 45 recommendations in the second Strategic Transport Projects Review. We also engage with local planning authorities to ensure that their development plans are supported by a robust transport planning process which considers sustainable transport alternatives and where necessary mitigates the impact of development related traffic on the strategic transport network. In the coming year:
  • Over the coming year we will be working with the stakeholders in Fort William to develop an Integrated Transport Plan for the town, as recommended in the second Strategic Transport Projects Review. Only by putting the “place principle” at the centre of this work, will we achieve the right solution to the transport challenges faced by residents, visitors and businesses.
  • As part of the reopening of the Levenmouth rail line we will continue to work with local partners to maximise the benefits through the Levenmouth Reconnected programme. The programme aims to maximise the economic and social value of the new railway as the stimulus to improve and integrate bus and active travel connectivity (as outlined in the Levenmouth Sustainable Travel Study 2019) and open the local communities of the wider Levenmouth area as places to live, work, visit, learn, play and grow.
  • Our £330 million investment in the Aberdeen to Inverness rail route has allowed ScotRail to significantly increase local services in Aberdeenshire over the past five years.