Annex 1 - Comments received on STPR and responses

Summary of Consultation Response

How Consultation Response has been Addressed

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)

It is disappointing that there is no proposal for a general upgrade [the A82] to modern standards of the section of road on Loch Lomondside north of Tarbet.

Also, no mention has been made in STPR of the substandard junctions at Milton of Dumbarton, and at Stoneymollan (Balloch), where long traffic queues develop at peak traffic flow periods.

The STPR intervention 3 identifies between £100 million and £250 million of improvements to the A82. The first point highlighted in this intervention is widening at selected locations between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

These proposals build on the current Route Action Plan works.

The details of other improvements along the A82 have also yet to be defined.

Strategic Park and Ride and Park and Choose Strategy relates to providing strategic Park and Ride sites to serve the Scottish cities, including possible sites in the SPT area at Bargeddie, St James, Glasgow Southern Orbital, Fullarton, Robroyston and Ayr.

It is understood that the exact location of these sites has not been fixed and we anticipate working with Transport Scotland to develop these proposals further.

Comments noted, the development of Park and Ride/ Park and Choose facilities will be taken forward in discussion with relevant stakeholders and agencies.

Transport Scotland is already in discussion with SPT on this.

There is a degree of uncertainty about the West of Scotland Strategic Rail Enhancements proposals, which STPR estimates will cost between £1.5bn and £3bn. The possibility of a Metro/Light Rapid Transit system, including the possible conversion of the Cathcart Circle and the use of redundant rail lines would be welcome.

The suggested new city centre station and tunnel linking the north and south rail networks appears to relate to the proposal to connect the north and south by tunnelling beneath the city centre and building an underground station. It is highly unlikely that this could be done within the stated cost range and SPT rejected it some years ago.

Whilst the City Union Line upgrade would be welcome, the other two parts of Crossrail could provide significant benefits including platform capacity relief at Central Station.

Comments noted. Discussions over the refinement of the detail of this proposal have already begun and the input from SPT and Glasgow City Council is welcomed.

The continued development of this intervention will address the issues raised. Transport Scotland is already in discussion with SPT on this.

Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership (Tactran)

TACTRAN strongly recommends that Stirling should be identified as a "Strategic Node", in line with the role of the City as a key economic driver and strategic transport hub within central Scotland, as acknowledged within NPF2

Stirling is not a strategic node as its presence does not materially affect the layout or the operational characteristics of the trunk road or rail network in the area.

This is in clear contrast with the urban nodes and networks in STPR which do have such impacts and as such, merit inclusion.

NPF2, as laid before Parliament in December 2008 and published in June 2009 does not specifically highlight Stirling as a node. It notes the growth potential of the Upper Forth Valley in total and the accessibility of Stirling and its surrounding area to the Highlands, Glasgow and Edinburgh, all of which are encompassed in STPR.

It is noted that Intervention 17 — Lengthen Trains and Platforms between Edinburgh and Dunblane was not progressed to the detailed assessment stage as "it is considered that more considerable benefits could be delivered through alternative interventions".

There are issues of overcrowding of trains serving Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and Stirling stations in the TACTRAN region. This intervention would address these problems and allow for growth in rail travel. It is not apparent which of the other interventions would provide a comparable solution.

The combination of East of Scotland Rail Improvements (Project 13) and Edinburgh to Glasgow Rail Improvements (Project 15) will give enhanced services across Central Scotland. For services between Dunblane and Edinburgh, there will be additional capacity to serve intermediate stops, reducing overall loading on these services.

The conclusion for not progressing Intervention 167 — Extensive Rail Freight Enhancements between Mossend, Grangemouth and Aberdeen/Inverness via Perth is surprising.

Enhancements on the rail lines connecting those sites with Mossend and Grangemouth would considerably facilitate the carriage of freight by rail.

The provision of extensive enhancements involved major improvements to the routes to facilitate gauge clearance for the very large containers. Emerging technology in the form of new bogies allows carriage of large containers on lower gauge clearance routes than was previously the case. Both the improvements to the Highland Mainline (Project 17) and improvements between Aberdeen and the Central Belt (Project 23) include freight enhancements to improve speeds and address constraints.

It is considered that intervention D10 Reconfiguration of the National Rail Timetable under-estimates the potential impact on modal shift, particularly on the Highland Main Line where journey times are longer currently by train than for driving.

This intervention is broadly supported though if no new infrastructure or rolling stock is proposed then intermediate stations are likely to suffer significantly reduced levels of service.

This issue can be addressed through progressing the intervention with other complementary actions such as electrification and, in the context of the TACTRAN region, current work the Partnership is undertaking on the Tay Estuary Rail Study (TERS), in consultation with Transport Scotland, Network Rail and First ScotRail.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

The service patterns that may be delivered in future to utilise any new rail infrastructure will be designed to support the objectives for the corridor identified in STPR.

TACTRAN supports intervention D11 (Strategic) Park & Ride/Park & Choose Strategy.

TACTRAN has provided copies of the Regional Park and Ride Strategy to Transport Scotland and Scottish Government officials, and is keen to enter into early discussions on the scope for early development and delivery of the regional Park and Ride priorities which are identified within the STPR.

Comments noted. Discussions over the refinement of the detail of this proposal have already begun and the input from Tactran is welcomed.

TACTRAN is supportive of appropriate means of easing traffic flow and reducing the conflict between strategic and local traffic around Dundee by means of either Intervention D19 Dundee Northern Relief Road — Bypass Option or D19 Dundee Northern Relief Road — A90 Upgrade Option subject to more detailed consideration of, and consultation on, both options in accordance with STAG and the TACTRAN RTS.

The STPR identifies the hierarchy of maintaining and managing , then optimising then adding to the capacity of networks.

Any consideration of a bypass around Dundee would be developed recognising this hierarchy and the principles of STAG.

TACTRAN does not agree with the assessment of intervention E1 — Suburban Rail Services across Dundee. This assessment should have been based on the updated TERS proposals which emerged from development of the RTS, as previously advised to Transport Scotland officials during the early stages of the STPR process.

The comment on page 131 of the Environmental Report is not accepted. The environmental impacts of enhanced rail services would generally not overlap with those accruing to the Dundee Northern Relief Road and therefore proceeding with both sets of interventions, as part of an integrated regional and national transport strategy (and subject to the above comments regarding the need for full consideration of the options identified under Intervention D19 above), is likely to generate greater net benefits, particularly in terms of air quality.

The development of interventions required to take cognisance of their fit with other interventions through the appraisal process. This is particularly the case for rail, where interventions around Dundee are heavily influenced by proposals for Aberdeen to the Central Belt. The tested intervention was therefore based on resolving study objectives and alignment with other schemes.

The comments made above in terms of the strategic role of the rail network, as defined in "Scotland’s railways", should be noted.

It is accepted that intervention E8 New Rail between Perth and Inverkeithing is unlikely to proceed.

Nevertheless there is a need to consider measures to significantly improve line speeds to reduce Perth — Edinburgh rail travel times

There is no evidence that the intervention would have an "adverse substantial contribution to the region’s population, its health and air quality". The intervention would significantly improve these aspects but could have adverse localised impacts on the natural environment.

The environmental comments are noted.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

The reduction in Edinburgh to Perth travel times is highlighted in STPR and would be supported by service pattern enhancements and infrastructure improvements.

Enhancements between Mossend, Grangemouth and Aberdeen/Inverness.

TACTRAN has concerns regarding the future stopping pattern for "fast" services to/from the north east, which seems to include stops at only Dundee, with a potential loss of connectivity at intermediate stations and the loss of direct "fast" services between Stirling, Perth and Dundee and to/from Stirling/Perth and Aberdeen.

With regard to E7 it is believed that consideration should be given to enabling the operation of larger gauge "piggyback" wagons when upgrading rail infrastructure.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

The service patterns that may be delivered in future to utilise any new rail infrastructure will be designed to support the objectives for the corridor identified in STPR.

The comments on E7 are noted.

TACTRAN notes the assessment for intervention E2 Co-locate Dundee Bus Station with Rail Station and agrees that it would be difficult to proceed with this proposal.

However, TACTRAN is disappointed that the need to upgrade and enhance Dundee Railway Station, including a new station concourse, and also the opportunity to upgrade and provide improved multi-modal interchanges at Perth and Stirling railway stations, has been overlooked.

Improving the quality of interchange facilities at all of these strategic nodes would support the wider objectives of both STPR and NPF2, and is considered to be a significant omission from STPR.

The measures described are primarily local and regional in their impact and do not offer significant improvements to strategic connectivity.

Moray Council

Moray Council welcomes some of the proposals in the STPR, in particular the intention to improve the Aberdeen — Inverness rail service.

There are a number of major disappointments in respect of road infrastructure projects required to serve the needs of this part of Scotland, including.

  • major improvements to the A941 between Elgin and Dufftown, and
  • the A939 between Tomintoul and the A95,

It is the omission of A96 bypasses at Elgin and Keith, and the lack of recognition given to the vital role played by the A95 route linking Moray to the A9 which has given greatest cause for concern

Although the A95 provides a link between the A9 and Moray and has a relatively high percentage of heavy goods vehicles at 16%, it does not meet the criteria set out for inclusion as a nationally strategic corridor.

The A941 and A939, similarly, do not meet the criteria set out in Report 1.

Bypasses at Keith and Elgin were considered and shown not have sufficient merit to be included in the recommendations arising from the STPR.

The STPR documents indicate that bypasses on the A96 at Keith, Elgin and Nairn were considered collectively as one package, and there was disappointment in Moray that Elgin, in particular, is not shown to have been examined separately on its own merits.

The process which led to these decisions requires to be made transparent in some detail to the Council and other stakeholders.

When considering the work already undertaken to consider bypasses at three towns along the A96, the proportion of vehicles which currently uses the trunk road and which would be considered to transfer to any bypass is crucial.

The work undertaken on behalf of HITRANS and HIE suggests that some 60% of the 20,277 AADT in Elgin would transfer to a bypass. This does not account for the origin or destination of the trips that may divert. There is also little evidence that the diversion curve formula was calibrated or validated to local conditions on the A96.

The work undertaken on the STPR drew from a range of sources including the specially extended Transport Model for Scotland.

Please explain how flexibility is built into the STPR to enable Government to react to significant future changes in land use or other influencing factors in such circumstances.

The Scottish Government will continue to work with delivery partners including local authorities, regional transport partnerships and developers in progressing schemes not recommended within the STPR, seeking alternative methods of funding where practicable.

In the absence of an Elgin bypass, a programme of individual junction improvements within Elgin must be put in place without delay. Please confirm if the STPR does or does not in itself preclude other investment in road infrastructure at this level.

Traffic in Elgin is a subject that both Transport Scotland and Moray Council (along with other stakeholders) continue to discuss, but it is clear from the work undertaken for the STPR that the findings are robust and reflect the essential characteristics of the corridor.

Fife Council

It is disappointing that there is no enhanced package within the STPR to support the Balanced Crossing Strategy to include Park & Ride/Choose sites and bus priority use of the hard shoulders between the new Park & Choose sites and the Forth Road Bridge.

It is pleasing that the (Strategic) Park-&- Ride/Park-&-Choose Strategy includes all three of the park & choose sites (provision of facilities at Halbeath and Pitreavie on the M90 Corridor into Edinburgh, and at Forgan on the A92 Corridor into Dundee) which have been developed through SEStran and ourselves and I am very pleased that this work is being recognised. However, I consider that at just £25m, (about 1% of the total cost) the measures associated with the Forth Replacement Crossing should be included in the overall project costs.

The STPR reflects the ongoing work on the Forth Replacement Crossing and these interventions will be delivered in line with the approach being adopted for that intervention.

The Inverkeithing to Halbeath Railway Line is a new scheme which has not been included in any local or regional strategies and planning documents to date.

Fully supportive of all the benefits this type of scheme would bring, assuming there is no reduction in services to other Fife stations and look forward to working closely with Scottish Government/Transport Scotland on the development of this scheme.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

The service patterns that may be delivered in future to utilise any new rail infrastructure will be designed to support the objectives for the corridor identified in STPR.

Comments on future working are welcomed.

The Route Management project includes packages of work on various routes, including junction improvements, estimated cost of between £100m to £250m.  Whilst this project includes the A92 on the Edinburgh to Dundee Corridor, it is unclear whether or not any improvements to the Redhouse Interchange have been included in the costing.

The Redhouse Roundabout operates relatively effectively at present. No nationally strategic operational issues have been identified for it.

Should future development led proposals impact on its operational characteristics, it is expected that these will be addressed through the development control process.

The project to reopen the Levenmouth Rail Line to both passengers and freight was not considered a strategic project in the STPR, as the benefits were considered to be more focused on a local and regional level. This scheme is Fife Council’s top transport priority and £2 million has been committed over the next 2 years to develop the scheme.

Government/Transport Scotland through the STPR, and Transport Scotland being the Rail Authority for Scotland, can you explain how such schemes can be implemented by either Local Authorities or Regional Transport Partnerships in the future?

Ask that further consideration be given to the Levenmouth branch line and the reintroduction of passenger and freight services in the very near future.

In developing the next High Level Output Specification (HLOS) and future franchises Transport Scotland will give consideration to other rail interventions that would contribute to the objectives for this Government.

The STPR suggests that the Cross Forth Ferry facilities project is unlikely to provide a significant impact at a strategic level to encourage modal shift and is more likely to address local and regional objectives. Whilst this may be understandable, it is nevertheless disappointing that it has not been singled out as a scheme worthy of national support.

The Cross Forth Ferry proposals are sifted into Appendix C.

Please advise why the Rosyth Bypass has not been considered as part the STPR?

The A985 is not included in one of the 20 strategic corridors identified for STPR.

Scottish Borders Council

A number of the programmed schemes have either been constructed or in the process of being constructed. This gives the document a misleading feel in terms of the planned improvements for the transport network.

The STPR addresses measures beyond our current investment programme. It recognises the work being completed up to that time, but does not alter or refine the current programme.

Route management schemes for specific corridors are welcomed, but the lack of detail contained within this proposal is concerning.

The detail of these proposals will be refined and developed and this will involve discussion with local stakeholders.

Corridor 19: Edinburgh to North West England and Beyond

We welcome the improvements schemes included within the report which aim to improve the A68 corridor. However, disappointed that there are no improvement schemes proposed for the A7 corridor within the Scottish Borders. The notable exception for this corridor is the A7 Selkirk Bypass.

The Council requests that the A7 Selkirk Bypass be included within the list of schemes currently proposed for this corridor.

The A7 Selkirk bypass was considered as part of the STPR. It concluded that the Selkirk bypass would not have a significant impact on the objective established for this corridor of 'continuing reduction in accident rates and severity rates across the strategic transport network'. For the A7, the STPR has recommended a programme of active route management and targeted individual investments providing both safety and operational improvements.

The Council does recognise that Project Five - Route management does propose improvements to various transport corridors, including the A1, A7 and A68 and the Council welcomes the inclusion of these routes within the STPR.

It is disappointing to note that there is no specific detail associated with these plans currently available, noting that budget allocation has already been carried out for some existing schemes.

The Council would ask Transport Scotland to work with SBC to provide a detailed account of proposed route management proposals for the A1, A7 and A68 transport corridors.  

Again, the detail of these proposals will be refined and developed and this will involve discussion with local stakeholders.

Corridor 20: Edinburgh to North East England and Beyond

Disappointing to note that the programmed schemes did not include any reference to the A1 corridor.

This corridor is identified as a Strategic Transport Corridor in the National Planning Framework document and therefore should be offered some priority in terms of further development. Scottish Borders Council would like to see further dualling of the A1 corridor between Edinburgh and Newcastle;

The Council would ask Transport Scotland to revisit the decision not to direct funding to further improve the A1 corridor.

The A1 corridor is included in Intervention 5 (route management of other corridors).

Also disappointing to note that there is no mention within the body of the document of potential improvements to the East Coast Main Line, including the potential development of a new rail facility at Reston in Berwickshire.

STPR intervention 12 — (Enhancing rail system capacity through targeted improvements) covers all of the strategic rail network in Scotland.

As such, it may include improvements to this line, should there be a merit in undertaking these.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

The preference for using existing services and stations/ terminals before considering the possible need for new ones is also highlighted. This is carried forward into STPR, and is reflected in its hierarchy of maintaining and safely operating existing assets, then making better use of existing capacity and lastly, developing targeted infrastructure improvements. Any new station proposals would be considered in line with this functional role.

West Lothian Council

At an early stage in the STPR process, four projects in West Lothian were identified as being of potential strategic importance for the Scottish economy but were, for a number of not always obvious reasons, subsequently sifted out during the STAG process.

We are confident that, if implemented, they would have significant potential for relieving the increasing pressure on the road and rail network along the M8 and M9 corridors and for reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles on strategic routes such as the A71, A89, M8 and M9.

We, therefore, ask for the following projects to be included for reconsideration in the STPR

 

M8 and A71 Bus Priority Measures between Edinburgh Livingston and Bathgate (Intervention ID 34)

Such a facility may be delivered under the combined ITS/ P&R interventions (STPR interventions 8 and 9).

Priority Vehicle Lane on the M8 between Junctions 1 and 3 (Intervention ID 121).

Such a facility may be delivered under the combined ITS/ P&R interventions (STPR interventions 8 and 9).

Linlithgow Park and Ride

It is included, and will be considered as the Strategic Park and Ride/ Park and Choose intervention is taken forward.

New Light Rapid Transit Line between Edinburgh and Livingston (Intervention 32)

This has no national significance and was discounted during the appraisal for STPR. No evidence has been offered to question the appraisal outcome.

South East of Scotland Planning Partnership

The STPR should be amended to include LRT to southeast Edinburgh and the provision of rail freight connections to Rosyth. Both projects are important to the City Region and the national economy and would enhance Scotland’s international economic competitiveness.

 

New Light Rapid Transit Line to Southeast Edinburgh

The STPR appraisal has concluded that new tram/ LRT proposals in Edinburgh have local or regional impact.

Rail Freight Connections to Rosyth Port

Rosyth has rail connections. Options for adding more from the west were discounted. The Halbeath to Inverkeithing rail link (intervention 28) offers improvements for Rosyth and the surrounding area.

Scottish Association for Public Transport

The Association would urge adoption of the following changes:-

  • a diversion of funding from major trunk road projects to lesser road, rail and other public transport schemes offering greater corridor and area benefits in phased packages
  • a shift of funding towards the promotion of energy efficiency, energy conservation and shifts to alternative fuels
  • enlarged funding for rail electrification within Scotland and Anglo-Scottish route development in the periods both to, and after, 2016
  • enlarged funding for Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) and local councils for local public transport, travel plans, access and active travel
  • introduction of borrowing for major transport projects against specified income streams

The majority of interventions proposed in STPR are rail based. Of the roads based interventions, the majority of these are focused on potentially phased packages of interventions, on corridors across the country.

The Scottish Government is committed to the promoting of renewable energy and sustainable forms of electricity generation.

The STPR has identified the electrification of the majority of the Scottish rail network as an intervention. This will be taken forward as future spending reviews and other priorities allow.

The Scottish government has provided record levels of funding to Local Government and through the historic Concordat, offered unparalleled freedom in how this funding is utilised. Funding for Regional Transport Partnerships is generally included in this and local authorities should work within their RTP’s to bring forward local or regional schemes they feel have sufficient merit.

The Scottish Government currently does not have borrowing powers. This is a matter beyond the scope of the STPR.

Strategic Corridor Diagram p 3 Though this is indicative, it gives a misleading impression that freight movement within Scotland (and to England) relies heavily on the present Forth Road and Rail Bridges.

In fact, neither have a substantial use for freight and the principal north-south freight corridor is, and will continue to be, the corridor via the M80, M73, M74, M6/A66 and the West Coast Main Line rail route from Perth via Gartsherrie/ Eurocentral to Gretna.

Maps of Freight (and Passenger) Flows in 2007 and expected Flows by 2017 and 2022 would be preferable. An outline of forecasting methodology and assumptions should be included.

Figure 2.1 of the environmental Report illustrates the "National Strategic Transport Network". It makes no presumption about mode share or route choice.

The corridor analysis presented in STPR Report 1 makes clearer reference to the performance of the network, both now and in future.

South East Scotland Transport partnership (SEStran)

Replacement Forth Crossing

The proposal, as outlined in the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), of a new replacement dual carriageway bridge for cars and lorries with old road bridge being retained for buses, taxis, etc complies well with the statements on this subject in our Regional Transport Strategy (RTS)

SEStran considers that:

the combination of old and new crossings should provide no more than the current two lanes in each direction available to single occupant cars;

All new traffic lanes across the Forth need to be dedicated to buses and high occupancy vehicles (HOVs;.

Physical separate running lanes for mixed use of buses, HOVs and possibly HGVs should be considered , but as far as possible, flexibility should be maintained to enable full vehicle carrying capacity for traffic during periods of bridge maintenance; and

the promoter should be required to put in place a demand management and investment package that will seek to ensure that traffic in Edinburgh will remain at or below the levels that would be forecast without the additional crossing."

The basic concept outlined in the STPR for the replacement Forth Bridge aligns well with the above suggestions, albeit that the existing bridge is intended to be used for the public transport provision. The STPR includes the Intelligent Management of traffic on the M90/A90 along with potential use of HOV lanes, but it is unclear whether these measures will achieve the above intended aims.

Before the objectives of the Framework can be delivered, confirmation is required on the ability of the old road bridge to continue to carry public transport, BRT and potentially trams.

The STPR reflects the ongoing work of the Forth Replacement Crossing team.

Edinburgh Airport Enhancement

The building of a new station at Gogar to interchange with tram to the airport and the Dalmeny Chord to allow Glasgow services to call at Gogar, as referred to in the Framework and the STPR, is very much welcomed.

The proposed tram link to the airport is mentioned but no mention is made of the direct road link from the motorway into the airport.

The rail projects are committed to by Transport Scotland in the STPR but the proposed road link from the M8 has been discounted as a national priority, with the suggestion that, if it is shown to have specific merit locally or regionally through an effective appraisal process, that it be considered by the planning authority as part of development proposals in the West of Edinburgh Planning Framework area.

The proposed M8 to Edinburgh Airport road link is mentioned as intervention E10. Discussions over its inclusion on any access strategy for the airport are ongoing as part of the West Edinburgh Planning discussions.

The rail proposals for Edinburgh airport are encompassed in EGIP, which is one of the 4 STPR priorities, while the proposed tram link is under development by City of Edinburgh Council.

Grangemouth Freight Hub

The importance of Grangemouth as a freight hub and a focus of the nation’s petrochemical industry is recognised in the Framework. We welcome the commitment in the STPR to improve rail access and road access to the M9 and the A801 from Grangemouth.

This is reflected in the STPR but along with many transport projects in the SEStran area, no priority and indication of when these projects will be implemented gives concern that Transport Scotland will not provide the economic linkages required in an acceptable time frame. Therefore a timing commitment in Framework would have been welcomed.

The immediate priorities of the Forth Replacement Crossing and HLOS rail proposals are clear.

Further prioritisation and programming will be carried forward in line with future spending reviews.

Discussions have taken place with Falkirk Council on specific details of these proposals as part of the development of that Councils development plan framework.

Rosyth International Container Terminal

We welcome the inclusion of improved road and rail access in this area within the Framework but although it is mentioned several times within the STPR, projects associated with access to Rosyth are not defined in any work package. Indeed rail freight connections to Rosyth Port have been specifically rejected in the STPR.

This represents a major inconsistency between NPF2 and the STPR and casts doubt over the ability to develop Rosyth to the potential outlined in the Framework.

The Halbeath to Inverkeithing rail link provides improved rail access to Rosyth. Alternate rail access proposals for Rosyth were considered and dismissed on a variety of grounds.

STPR and NPF2 have been closely interlinked both here and in other areas. NPF2, published in June 2009 does not name any specific proposal for road or rail improvement to the additional container capacity suggested for the Forth.

The Strategic Transport Projects Review indicate that the Government is intent on improving rail services between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with a potential reduction in travel time to 35 mins between the two cities.

To achieve this various service and infrastructure improvements are required. Improvements in connectivity to Glasgow and the west are welcome but not to the detriment of services to and from intermediate SEStran communities.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

This is carried forward into STPR, and is reflected in its hierarchy of maintaining and safely operating existing assets, then making better use of existing capacity and lastly, developing targeted infrastructure improvements. Future timetabling will be considered in this light.

The commitment in the Framework to the need for additional capacity at Waverley and Haymarket Stations is very much welcomed.

SEStran notes that unfortunately the STPR concentrates on investment at Haymarket rejecting any further major expansion of Waverley.

Edinburgh Waverley has been substantially improved and the proposals to upgrade Haymarket are in keeping with work being proposed by City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Scotland and reflects the growth of western Edinburgh.

The improvement of rail services from Edinburgh to other cities in Scotland, such as Aberdeen and Inverness referred to in the Framework, is also welcomed as long as reduced journey times do not mean reduced services to SEStran communities.

There is reference in the STPR to a new rail line between Inverkeithing and Halbeath which will potentially improve travel times between Edinburgh and Inverness/Aberdeen and on which further clarification needs to be sought.

Scotlands Railways highlights the overall role of the national rail system. The servicing of intermediate stations on routes will be considered in terms of the objectives for that route and the network as a whole.

The request for clarification on the Halbeath to Inverkeithing rail line is noted. When this intervention is taken forward, discussions will be held with relevant stakeholders.

It is disappointing to note that any further investment in Edinburgh Trams has been rejected within STPR as a national scheme.

The Scottish Government has committed £500 million to the development of Edinburgh Tram. The proposed additions to the tram network have local or regional impact and, consequently, are not appropriate for consideration in STPR.

There is no mention in the STPR of the Edinburgh Orbital BRT project being developed by SEStran, linking these park and ride sites and major peripheral destinations.

Interventions 8 and 9 of the STPR, (Defining Strategic park and ride and use of ITS) should be read in combination to define a context within which proposals for A720 bus measures may be further considered. Para A.78 of STPR Report 4 specifically highlights the possibility of managed lanes, potentially for bus use.

The development of ferry and Hovercraft services on the Forth is mentioned several times in the Framework, but have been rejected in the STPR.

The Cross Forth Ferry proposals are sifted into Appendix C.

We support the strengthening of east coast rail links to Newcastle and also support the development of High Speed Rail to London as improving the Regions links to England and specifically London, although no specific commitment is made to delivering this in the STPR.

Paragraphs 3.98 — 3.101 of the STPR Report published in conjunction with this Post Adoption Statement outline the Scottish Government’s position in respect of cross border connections.

The National Development for High Speed Rail included in NPF2 offers further context for the work already being undertaken on HS2.

There are many positive proposals in this document for the development of important strategic transport projects in the SEStran area.

SEStran is disappointed that the STPR did not prioritise projects or commit funding to projects which are identified in the NPF and the RTS as achieving national aims and objectives.

SEStran notes that delivery of key transport linked aims and objectives of the Framework within a reasonable timescale may be prejudiced unless the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland commit to funding and target delivery dates.

The immediate priorities for the STPR are the Forth Replacement Crossing and 3 HLOS rail proposals.

The Forth Replacement Crossing is one of the national developments while the rail proposals are committed via the HLOS process.

Further priorities will be delivered in line with future spending reviews and other priorities.

Selkirk Community Council & Selkirk Regeneration Group

In responding to the STPR, we would wish to draw your attention to the significant negative environmental consequences of the omission of the proposed Selkirk A7 Bypass, which are detailed and highlighted within the following discussion paper.

The Community of Selkirk wishes the ultimate need for a by pass to be acknowledged in the Transport Plan and for survey work to be undertaken in order to establish the optimum line of the route.

The A7 Selkirk bypass was considered as part of the STPR. It concluded that the Selkirk bypass would not have a significant impact on the objective established for this corridor of 'continuing reduction in accident rates and severity rates across the strategic transport network'. For the A7 the STPR has recommended a programme of active route management and targeted individual investments providing both safety and operational improvements.

Mount Vernon Community Council

My original concern as a Mount Vernon resident was that after being led to believe that electrification of our local service (Glasgow - Whifflet) was on the way, we found that there was no commitment to it in the STPR.

I also share the concern expressed by many others that there is no explicit support in the STPR for the Glasgow Crossrail scheme, and have enclosed a note I drew up on this subject, albeit one originally intended for a different readership.

STPR intervention 6 (Further Electrification of the Strategic Rail Network) includes specific reference to Whifflet in phase 2 of the intervention. STPR Report 4, p72 highlights this.

Glasgow "Crossrail" was dismissed as a stand alone intervention as it does not achieve the step change necessary to delivery significant improvements for Glasgow and the west of Scotland. It does not, for instance, create the additional terminal capacity necessary to allow additional service to be run to Ayrshire, Inverclyde or to Aberdeen or Inverness.

The West of Scotland Strategic Rail enhancements (Intervention 24) are intended to address the capacity problems at Glasgow Central and Queen Street and offering additional strategic connectivity, whilst improving connections in and around Glasgow. Discussions on the detail of the likely interventions are already underway with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Glasgow City Council.

Living Streets

The lack of detailed consideration on the health impacts of the proposed interventions is a significant omission The absence of consideration of active travel modes is to be regretted

The proposed STPR interventions increase the requirement for a comprehensive effort to increase walking levels in our towns and cities.

Our key response regards the lack of consideration given to the health impact of the transport interventions.

We would disagree with the contention that the interventions tend to have a marginal impact on human health.

Development of new roads can have a major impact on encouraging greater car use and sedentary behaviour, increasing traffic levels, air pollution and increasing the risks to vulnerable road users.

Conversely, it is possible that there will be health benefits from encouragement of public transport use and subsequent increase in walking levels to and from stations, as well as tackling air pollution hot spots by diverting traffic.

The lack of consideration given to measuring the health impact of the interventions is illustrated by the inconsistencies in the assessments of effect.

Ask that this is given far greater consideration as work on STPR goes forward. As it currently exists, we believe the STPR makes an inadequate response to one of the three main National Transport Strategy objectives of:

  • Reducing emissions, to tackle the issues of climate change, air quality and health improvement.

While we welcome a long term approach to transport planning, we believe that insufficient attention has been paid to active travel modes.

STPR therefore is the first step and we believe the next stage of work on the proposed interventions must include how the interventions can influence walking levels (as well as cycling) to help tackle the health challenges facing us.

Health considerations have been included. Health Scotland were added to the list of statutory Consultees and contributed to the scoping of the SEA for STPR.

The STPR was not specifically remitted to consider active travel modes. They are covered by the NTS.

However, impact on these modes will form part of the mitigation and monitoring strategy where appropriate.

The promotion of public transport, primarily rail is a central component of the STPR. The majority of recommendations arising from it are rail based or involve improvements to ticketing, timetabling and capacity of the rail network.

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation (CILT)

It is difficult to take exception to the proposed developments but there is little indication of relative priority and little apparent linkage to professional transport planning.

Clearly the projects included reflect modelling conclusions but there is little evidence of stakeholder consultation with Local Authorities, RTPs and other organisations.

A particular concern is that the STPR appears before the National Freight Model is complete.

The priorities for the STPR are clear. These are the Forth Replacement Crossing and the HLOS rail schemes of EGIP, the Highland Mainline Improvements and Aberdeen to Inverness Rail improvements. Subsequent priorities will be brought forward in line with future spending reviews.

The STPR is derived from the NTS, which was subject to extensive engagement. The STPR itself was subject to stakeholder engagement through reference groups. Engagement and discussion are currently ongoing with various agencies on interventions and their potential to support various development plan proposals.

The STPR proposals were subject to intensive discussion with freight colleagues. This discussion is illustrated in Chapter 3 of STPR Report 4.

In the present financial climate, it is felt that the affordability of the projects needs to be considered together with the timescale over which they can be achieved.

Indeed, if economic growth is likely to be lower than forecast it may be sensible to re-evaluate the net present value of the projects using the STAG process.

The lower forecasts of traffic growth, whilst welcome indicate a potential for lower future growth. This could result in adjustments to priorities or some projects dropping out of the frame.

The priorities for the STPR are clear. These are the Forth Replacement Crossing and the HLOS rail schemes of EGIP, the Highland Mainline Improvements and Aberdeen to Inverness Rail improvements.

Subsequent priorities will be brought forward in line with future spending reviews.

There has been concern expressed before about the level of revenue expenditure available for transport infrastructure. This issue is still a concern given the high proportion of revenue expenditure on trunk roads currently taken up by interest payments, including PFI commitments. This factor extends to local authorities where the road infrastructure is not being maintained to the highest quality. Maintaining appropriate revenue budgets for local authorities and continuing to give them access to adequate capital is seen as very important.

Local roads maintenance and its funding is a matter for local authorities. The Scottish Government has provided record levels of funding to them for service provision and unparalleled freedom in its use through the Concordat.

Necessary local transport investment should not suffer because of STPR commitments and RTPs should receive long-term funding commitments.

The Concordat between Local Government and the Scottish Government allows local authorities to work in conjunction with Regional Transport Partnerships and other agencies to deliver project of local or regional significance.

The STPR is focused on infrastructure or services that fall within the responsibility of the Scottish Government to fund directly.

It is felt that insufficient attention is paid to sustainability in the face of potential threats from climate change, terrorism and security of energy supplies.

There is a need to ensure that sufficient funds, both revenue and capital, are available, possibly at short notice, to ensure that the existing critical communication links, including life-line ferry services, are robust in the face of such threats.

Similar robustness is required of key items which may be at risk from terrorist threats.

Comments on climate change sustainability are presented in table 3.1 of this Report. The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill has set challenging targets for emissions reductions in future years. .

The Scottish Government is committed to promoting renewable energy sources and these may play a role in supporting carbon reductions arising from the delivery of, for instance, a greater use of electrified rail rolling stock.

Security and terrorism comments are noted. These are beyond the defined scope of the STPR and are more properly considered by other means.

It is noted that electrification of parts of the rail network is contemplated. This is welcome since it extends the range of fuels available to move freight and passengers, in particular, increasing the potential for renewable sources to be utilised.

In assessing the case for rail electrification, it is hoped that account is taken of the potential for regeneration and transmission losses and the costs associated with new long distance transmission lines which may be required, particularly if the private utilities are unwilling to invest in these.

The details of power sources that may be used to operate electric trains has not be defined. The environmental assessment work undertaken makes no presumption, therefore, of the scale of improvement that may be achieved.

The Scottish Government is committed to promoting renewable generation and it is working to increase the proportion of electricity supplied from these sources.

It is noted that there is no provision for a high speed rail link to the south. Given that this could take off from south of the border, there is a need to engage with the UK Government to ensure that compatible schemes are built from north and south.

To avoid delay in completion, at least to the Central Belt, sufficient funds must be available during the period of the Review from the Scottish Government Budget to pay for the section within Scotland.

Paragraphs 3.98 — 3.101 of the STPR Report published in conjunction with this Post Adoption Statement outline the Scottish Government’s position in respect of cross border connections.

The National Development for High Speed Rail included in NPF2 offers further context for the work already being undertaken on HS2.

It would have been helpful in the presentation if the performance of each project against STAG or other evaluation criteria had been set out. This could be particularly important if the available finance requires a delay in the implementation of some projects. Certain projects such as the second Forth Crossing and rail electrification may be regarded as sufficiently important to be placed at the top of the list under any future financial scenario.

The Option summary tables published as part of STPR Report 3 set out the performance of the interventions against STAG criteria.

The STPR priorities are the Forth Replacement Crossing and HLOS rail proposals of EGIP, Highland Mainline improvements and Aberdeen to Inverness Rail Improvements.

Cumbernauld Commuters Association

My committee is most aggrieved that the possible provision of Glasgow Crossrail, mooted since the GGPTE plan of 1968, appears to be stalling YET AGAIN!

The benefits of such a link for rail travellers to/from the west of Scotland to Edinburgh & the North/North East are unquestionable!

In this day and age of major concerns for global warming, pollution and fuel consumption it is unbelievable that such a valuable and READY BUILT asset is being 'ignored'! 

As for a new tunnel under Glasgow - this 'proposal' beggars belief when the aforementioned resource is ALREADY available and connected (albeit via some abandoned but WHOLLY reusable lines) to the existing rail network!

We sincerely trust that such assets will not be ignored and left to rot and that GLASGOW CROSSRAIL will regain its rightful place on the transport agenda!

Glasgow "Crossrail" was dismissed as a stand alone intervention as it does not achieve the step change necessary to delivery significant improvements for Glasgow and the west of Scotland. It does not, for instance, create the additional terminal capacity necessary to allow additional service to be run to Ayrshire, Inverclyde or to Aberdeen or Inverness.

The West of Scotland Strategic Rail enhancements (Intervention 24) are intended to address the capacity problems at Glasgow Central and Queen Street and offering additional strategic connectivity, whilst improving connections in and around Glasgow.

Discussions on the detail of the likely interventions are already underway with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Glasgow City Council.

Railfuture Scotland

There is a variety of public transport related projects in the Review and this is a welcome development. However, there are several projects which have been omitted and we would ask that these projects should be re-considered as they are a better fit with the STPR vision.

These schemes should include the projects that are included in Network Rail’s Route Utilisation Strategy together with the network outputs included in tier 3 of the Transport Scotland High Level Output Statement (HLOS) that are not already included in the STPR. It is understood that the content of tiers 1 and 2 of the HLOS are not included in the STPR as the associated funding is already committed. In addition the following projects should be re-considered for inclusion in the STPR on the grounds that they meet the Scottish Government’s aspirations with the most favourable environmental impact.

  • Glasgow Crossrail — the links should include the existing City - Union Line, together with a new west turning curve to facilitate a direct connection with Queen Street Low Level Station and the restoration of the former Strathbungo link to the East Kilbride / Barrhead lines.
  • Further extension to Edinburgh Tram
  • Rail link to St. Andrews
  • Dornoch Firth Rail Crossing
  • Edinburgh Suburban Rail

Glasgow "Crossrail" was dismissed as a stand alone intervention as it does not achieve the step change necessary to delivery significant improvements for Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

The West of Scotland Strategic Rail enhancements (Intervention 24) are predicated on addressing the capacity problems at Glasgow Central and Queen Street and so offering additional strategic connectivity, whilst improving connections in and around Glasgow by one of several means.

Further extension of Edinburgh tram will only be of local or regional benefit and, as such, was discounted from STPR. The Scottish Government has committed £500 million to the delivery of the current tram proposals.

The Rail link to St. Andrews has local or regional benefit and did not emerge as a priority for investment on STPR.

The proposed Dornoch Rail Crossing was considered and dismissed as a intervention offering poor value for money.

The Edinburgh South Suburban Rail proposal has been considered previously and shown not to have operational merit.

A Mulhern

Concern at definition the Highland Rail Network as only certain parts of the Far North Line, and routes from Inverness to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The STPR has considered strategic road and rail corridors across the country and recommended interventions on the basis of this assessment. It did not exclude consideration of wider parts of the rail network.

Also, unhappy at lack of investment for the West Highland Lines? The FoWHL group proposed removing, where possible, some of the tight curves and allowing speeding up of some sections of the line.  Has this been studied?  

The STPR has identified a number of interventions, including "Rail system Enhancements" (Project 12) and "maintenance and safe operation of Scotland’s rail network" (Project 2) which offer potential benefits for the west highland line and other routes.

The details of the improvements that may be delivered have yet to be defined.

No commitment either for improving rail freight on the West Highland routes

Again, the interventions outlined offer scope for such improvements.

Highlights HGV's impacts on road network and questions reasons for investment in road vs rail networks.

The STPR has considered both road and rail networks and recommends interventions most effective in meeting the issues highlighted for each.

Concern over timetable regularity, reporting of safety issues surrounding public transport and comments on car park capacity.

The STPR identifies timetabling improvements across Scotland and highlights the potential for improvements to the rail network to increase reliability.

D. Martin

No attempt to rank these [interventions] in any order of importance, or consider where priorities might conflict. Unless Climate Change can be arrested, worrying about Biodiversity becomes academic. Global Warming due to human-generated emissions of Greenhouse Gases is by far the most important challenge we face.

Ministers have identified the Forth Replacement Crossing and HLOS rail proposals (Edinburgh — Glasgow Rail improvements, Highland Mainline improvements and Aberdeen to Inverness Improvements) as the most pressing priorities.

Other rail and road maintenance proposals will be developed and taken forward by other means, for instance ongoing road safety works, rail maintenance programmes, whilst work is ongoing to develop prioritisation for other interventions.

The Scottish Government’s Purpose is to promote sustainable economic growth and the STPR has been conducted in support of this.

Analysis of the effect of Road Improvement works makes no reference to the rule that traffic expands to fill the space available.

Thus a road scheme which might appear to reduce emissions by allowing traffic to move at a steady, more economical speed will in fact result in an increase in emissions from the increased traffic.

The modelling of infrastructure improvements has taken place and the results reflect this.

The STPR is not a roads focused document. The majority of interventions are rail based, whilst most of the roads based proposals seek to manage or optimise existing capacity or improve safety and operational characteristics by targeted interventions.

Surprised that STPR does not make strong criticism of the both the proposal to upgrade the A96 between Nairn and Inverness, and of the A9 from Perth to Inverness.

The problems of traffic in the Inverness area are a result of planning decisions, allowing the creation of low-density housing estates on green-field sites.

If the link needs extra capacity, then either the railway line should be doubled, or even a segregated tram or guided bus route via Dalcross be constructed.

The STPR has considered a number of proposals for the Inverness area and specifically excluded proposals for fully dualling the A96 or completing the western section of the A9 — A82 link.

It promotes less extensive, but none the less significant improvements to the A96, a new rail station at Dalcross and Kintore and confirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to dualling the A9.

Significant improvements to the Highland Mainline and Aberdeen to Inverness line are also included, further reflecting the STPR’s promotion of public transport options.

The last few miles of the A9 from Daviot into Inverness is already a dual carriageway, but there are five at-grade junctions within one mile. Money should be spent on the secondary roads so that these junctions can be replaced by a single grade-separated junction.

Happy that a third lane be constructed at regular intervals to ease frustration by allowing slower vehicles to be overtaken. It may even be that some sections should be dualled through grade-separated junctions. However I also feel that a single 60 mph speed limit be established along the whole route, with average speed cameras for enforcement. Such a plan of work would increase safety while having little effect on capacity and probably reducing emissions by reducing the maximum speed of vehicles and letting them proceed at a constant speed.

Note comments on A9 upgrade and junction improvements.

The posted speed limit on the A9 is already 60 mph for cars etc, but is lower (40mph) for HGV’s, including on the dual carriageway sections. Various safety initiatives have already been undertaken, including the grade separation of the Ballinluig junction and provision of 2+1 sections at various points on the route.

In the same way, the (re)construction of sections of the A82, essential for safety reasons, will inevitably encourage some additional traffic, but this should definitely not be the raison d’etre of the work.

The A82 Route Action Plan is already being implemented and the STPR builds upon the work being undertaken.

M. Roberts

Wondering whether there are any potential timescales to start the route selection for these [interventions] and for that matter and of the other potential schemes that are outlined within the STPR? 

Appreciates that these things do take time and that there is much groundwork to do before final route options are selected, but believes that the schemes highlighted are an extremely good representation of what Scotland needs in order to continue to develop its transport infrastructure.

Work to further develop the interventions and their delivery timescales is ongoing. The immediate priorities of the HLOS rail schemes of EGIP, Highland Mainline and Aberdeen to Inverness Rail Improvements and Forth Replacement Crossing are being developed.

Work on other interventions is also being initiated.

V. Allen / W. Rodger

The nominal horizon for this Review is 2022 i.e. a 13 year period. That compares with the National Planning Framework with a horizon of 2030 which itself cites STPR as a major input. Transport infrastructure will be expected to last for many decades so 13 years appears short.

The overall impression is of a plan which projects "business as usual", catering for the more apparent crises which that presents, but not pushing its ambitions much beyond a bigger and better version of the present.

The STPR is designed to support the delivery of the National Transport Strategy and the Scottish Government’s Purpose. It covers the period beyond the current capital programme. The STPR is not a policy statement and is instead reflective of the outcomes identified in each of these strategies, and the assessment conducted in its undertaking.

It sets out a visionary series of proposals, including step change in the west of Scotland’s rail network, electrification of the majority of the country’s rail network and recasting of the national rail timetable.

The timeframe quoted is reflective of the availability of data and modelling tools allowing as quantitative assessment of future network conditions.

While all the projects have merit, this does not mean that they represent the best investment in transport infrastructure. The impression is gained that they almost select themselves on the grounds that each represents progress against a very current issue. Here again this implies a (relatively) short term perspective which may store up problems for the medium term and potentially incurs significant opportunity cost for the longer term.

Again, the STPR is set in a wider context and specifically remitted in supporting existing strategies.

The planning horizon is a realistic one in terms of meeting likely challenges, rather than an arbitrarily selected one which would offer no foundation in evidence led appraisal.

Against the background of an expected 20% shift of population from west to east (NPF2) current concerns regarding the second Forth Crossing cannot be too heavily emphasised.

However there are other consequences of that migration, not least of which will be increasing congestion within the entire West Edinburgh — Dunfermline — Falkirk Triangle. Moving freight volume onto rail will, on current projections reach the limit of Scotland-England capacity by 2014.

The opening of a possible new high speed, north / south passenger route between Scotland and the South of England, with a likely ten year lead time, as has been thought by others, would expand freight capacity on existing track. The strategy appears to have little to say on this point.

The STPR was remitted to identify those proposals that might be delivered or substantially supported by the Scottish Government. Cross border rail services do not fall into this category as the primacy of delivery lies with the Westminster Parliament. The STPR and NPF2 illustrate the Scottish Government’s position on cross border links.

Scottish Ministers have undertaken to work with Westminster on such matters of common interest and the STPR reflects this.

The proposals for step change in the west of Scotland’s rail capacity make specific reference to the possibility of using some of the terminal capacity released for High Speed rail.

The population figures underlying the modelling used are consistent with other national models.

Testing the [STPR] Strategy against various scenarios appears to comprise of primarily sensitivity testing (e.g. fuel pricing, inward migration).

The full scope of a scenario exercise would alter fundamentals with a view to gaining understand about how/whether the strategy might also survive as a useful one in quite different futures.

A longer term perspective would be beneficial in counterbalancing the quite reactive position which STPR has been forced into. This would also offer scope for a more meaningful discussion around future scenarios, such as the approach taken by "Foresight", a group of experts advising the UK Government on future trends.

As noted above, it is neither possible nor practical to adopt a longer term planning horizon.

The STPR was specifically remitted to support the national transport strategy and its conduct is based around evidence led appraisal, rather than from a basis of anticipating scenarios.

Alternatives have been considered and these are discussed in STPR Report 4 and the Environmental Report.

Quite rightly, the strategy tests against a Climate Change scenario. However it is not clear how radical that is nor what indirect impacts are modelled. Perhaps the most difficult to call — though undoubtedly the area will be extremely active — is the human response.

It is not inconceivable that synthetic fuel (without the recent undesirable side effects of bio-fuels) could ensure cheap, sustainable fuel by 2022. Such an outcome would exacerbate the already emerging congestion issue noted earlier.

Again, the STPR is an evidence based assessment, rather than a consideration of theoretical outcomes at an undefined time in the future.

Current developments in private vehicle technology point in the direction of a connected network of intelligent modules.

The effective capacity of a fixed length of road would be multiplied and might provide part of an answer to the congestion issue. Compact cities with heavy duty electronic infrastructure for the inhabitants personal transport would then be connected with highly efficient mass transit systems.

Evidence on the future development of vehicles is not conclusive to the extent that a policy response can be developed around it.

Also, the STPR is specifically required to address the issues affecting all of Scotland and must, therefore allow for proposals accessing our remoter communities. This is not an outcome that can be delivered by accommodating an untried approach that may be applicable in any event only to densely developed urban areas.

Emphasis needs to be given to the generic role of the multi-modal, passenger handling, transport interchange as crucially important nodes within the transport network. These nodes need to be planned as an integral part of wider areas zoned for future high density / mixed use development.

The STPR recognises the role of mode shift and passenger handling. It identifies proposals to support these, including the development of Haymarket station, which reflects the ongoing emergence of the surrounding area as a development

European integration is a further significant trend which could usefully contribute to longer term scenarios. Such scenarios could envisage a more radical set of futures for Scottish land use.

Significant biomass industry is cited within NPF2 as a distinct possibility by 2018. The consequences for Scottish freight could be enormous. Especially against the background of increasing European integration e.g. Irish interest in a connection to Scandinavia via the Caledonian Canal, ought we to be thinking of obtaining value more from the east coast’s sea routes?

If congestion on the north/south overland route hits a rail capacity threshold by 2014 (and arguably a road capacity threshold even now) the need may become acute. Under this scenario, modal integration would become even more important than STPR already recognises. Should Scotland tie its economic wellbeing to the maintenance of the land-bridge via England?

The STPR is not remitted to considered ferry, canals, marine freight or air services.

It does highlight the role of connections to ports and airports, but cannot make recommendations on matters that are more properly the preserve of other strategies.

Scotland appears to have escaped the recent prognostications of a declining population — largely through inward migration.

The circumstances which gave rise to that effect may now be at an end. While one would certainly wish the Scottish Government well in its target to exceed those projections, there should be some recognition of the statistical basis on which they rest and the weakness of a straight linear projection of endogenous variables into the future.

Might a declining population, reversal of the energetic East European component of that, and the emigration associated with the fallout of 2008’s Credit Crunch mark the end of a golden time? If developer contributions dry up, urban public transport infrastructure will find it difficult to regain momentum. A city with weak public transport and in an expensive fuel environment might slip into a vicious cycle of ghettoising. Not a scenario we’d wish — so worthwhile planning to avoid.

The delivery and maintenance of local and regional public transport is a matter for the relevant local and regional authorities.

The Scottish Government is working with these agencies to deliver it’s Purpose and has established a number of key strategic outcomes supporting the Purpose.

The planning scenarios underlying the STPR are consistent with those adopted nationally and would only change in response to a wider reconsideration of the nations development.

Dundee Green Party

Co-locate Dundee Bus Station with Rail Station

The environmental report states that 'There are few environmental benefits associated with co-locating Dundee bus station and rail station'. At the same time, the STPR Report 3 states that the measure would 'significantly contribute towards the objective 'to improve bus/rail interchange opportunities'', which should be clearly environmentally beneficial.

The current distance between the bus and rail station makes it very inconvenient to transfer between the two. This would be clearly environmentally beneficial.

The environmental report mentions the problem with removing existing connections between local and strategic bus services. We believe this is a flawed argument since there is no reason the existing local bus routes could not be reconfigured to preserve the connection between local and long distance buses after a relocation of the bus station.

The conclusion should therefore be that co-location the bus and rail stations and improving connections between trains and local buses would be environmentally highly beneficial.

The construction works and additional bus mileage resulting in relocating the bus station create environmental disbenefits.

The assessment that this intervention offers no environmental benefits and would be difficult to achieve is supported by the relevant regional transport partnership.

Rail Service Enhancements between Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow

We have got two questions related to this proposal:

  • Will there be enough passengers to fill the trains when they do not stop at intermediate stations, and
  • will there be changes to the level of service to intermediate stations because of this scheme?

If the intermediate stations are to be served less frequently, this will clearly contribute negatively to the environment.

The National Transport Strategy, and its supporting document "Scotland’s Railways", highlight the role of rail in providing;

  • Fast, long distance passenger services between our major urban centres;
  • High quality commuter services into major areas of employment, education and leisure activities; and,
  • Rail freight services for regular high volume and generally long distance flows.

This is carried forward into STPR, and is reflected in its hierarchy of maintaining and safely operating existing assets, then making better use of existing capacity and lastly, developing targeted infrastructure improvements. Future timetabling will be considered in this light.

Railfuture Scotland

It is the contention of Railfuture Scotland that the emphasis on major road building in the STPR will have a detrimental effect (on some greater than others) on each of the environmental topics listed in the baseline assessment. Major road building will also make it impossible for Scotland to meet existing or future emission standards.

Of the 29 interventions recommended by the STPR, 14 are totally rail based, another is primarily rail based (Grangemouth access improvements) and others address integrated ticketing, bus based LRT and park and ride/ park and choose facilities. Consequently, the majority of interventions recommended from the STPR are not roads based. There is no focus on "major road building".

Only 3 interventions propose significant upgrades to existing road corridors (A9, A96, A90 at Dundee), 1 replaces an existing corridor and 7 propose maintenance and management of existing corridors. The strategic road safety plan addresses safety issues where these are identified on the road network.

Of the 4 immediate priorities for STPR, 3 are rail proposals (EGIP, Highland mainline and Aberdeen to Inverness rail improvements) and 1 (Forth Replacement Crossing) replaces current infrastructure without providing additional car based carriageway capacity.

In particular we would request that the following schemes be deleted from the STPR. These schemes are included in interventions:

  • D14 Part 1 - (Project 16);
  • D14 Part 2- (Project 16);
  • E6;
  • E16;
  • D16 - (Project 18);
  • D25 Part 1 - (Project 24) the Glasgow Tunnel proposals only;
  • Duplicate Forth Road Crossing — (Project 14).

Alternatives to the A9 and A96 upgrades were considered and dismissed for the reasons shown in Chapter 4 of this post adoption statement.

The Forth Replacement Crossing is progressing on its own workstream. This work includes more project focused environmental assessment.

The proposals for a tunnel are currently being discussed with SPT and Glasgow City Council. They will be dismissed if it is shown that alternatives are better at meeting the objectives or if feasibility work concludes that they are more practical.

The interventions arising in Appendix E are not recommended from STPR.

Railfuture Scotland believes that Scottish Government's aspirations for the STPR - to improve journey times and connections, to reduce transport related emissions, to improve the quality and accessibility of transport - together with the requirements of future legislation can be met by placing more emphasis on public transport schemes. An example of this in the Review document is Project 24 where reference is made to cross-city travel in Glasgow and the prospect of a metro - light rapid transit. We support this approach in conjunction with the Crossrail Scheme rather than the Glasgow Tunnel proposal. The scheme we support will give all the benefits of the tunnel proposal at a significantly smaller cost and with significantly less environmental impact.

Glasgow "Crossrail" was dismissed as a stand alone intervention as it does not achieve the step change necessary to delivery significant improvements for Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

The West of Scotland Strategic Rail enhancements (Intervention 24) are predicated on addressing capacity problems at Glasgow Central and Queen Street and offering additional strategic connectivity, whilst improving connections in and around Glasgow

Discussions are ongoing between Transport Scotland, SPT and Glasgow City Council on the refinement of the West of Scotland proposals.

In order to achieve the likely requirements of the future Climate Change (Scotland) Bill and to support wider efforts to reduce emissions from the transport sector, the emphasis in the STPR on road building and the duplicate Forth Road Crossing should be removed and replaced with more environmentally sustainable public transport schemes.

The majority of interventions and highest levels of overall investment outlined included in STPR are rail based.

The Forth Replacement Crossing emerged from a STAG appraisal which demonstrated that options based solely on public transport did not meet the objectives set for the study. These were included and assessed in the 65 options considered as part of the forth Replacement Crossing Study.

Similarly, public transport based alternatives for the A9 and A96 were considered and dismissed because they did not meet the objective for the corridor. This is discussed in section 4.5 of this Post adoption Statement.

SNH

SNH is pleased to have been able to assist with the development of the STPR, both as a stakeholder organisation and as a consultation authority for the SEA process.

We have two key comments on the conclusions emerging.

 

First is that, as noted in our comments on the SEA report, there is a risk that the assessment process has obscured adverse natural heritage impacts and thus given them too little weight relative to other, essentially non-environmental, factors such as improved connectivity and driver safety.

This danger arises from the fact that the SEA conducted has treated human safety and improved access as objectives.

SNH does not deny the validity of such non-environmental objectives; it is simply that in our understanding of the SEA process, and indeed of sound decision-making practice, they should be weighed up against the environmental impacts identified through the SEA. The alternative approach (which was considered and rejected at the time that SEA legislation was enacted in Scotland) would be to conduct a full-blown sustainability assessment, rather than an SEA.

The SEA is compliant with the regulations set out for its completion.

The difficulties in addressing these factors are recognised and SNH’s comments are welcomed.

Sustainable access is promoted through STPR in a number of ways. The promotion of a rail dominated programme supports mode shift, while the spread of electrified rail lines offers the potential to use renewable energy for rolling stock propulsion.

The design, including mitigation and monitoring, of STPR interventions will also include consideration of the maintenance and promotion of active travel routes where appropriate.

We would urge that an effort is made to strike a balance between environmental and other factors.

In our view a better approach would be to enter into a dialogue, designed to achieve an optimal outcome. We see this as all the more appropriate and desirable where the natural heritage interests at stake are not only of recognised national and international value but also contribute substantially to Scotland’s image and form a major component of its tourism resource.

The development of interventions arising from STPR will build upon the work completed to date in terms of considering environmental considerations as part of the overall suite of factors assessed.

Opportunities for dialogue will be explored. Experience has shown that such dialogue can bring added value to the development process and possibility of continuing this is welcomed.

Two of the trunk road improvement projects, Projects 3 and 16, which respectively traverse the Loch Lomond & Trossachs and Cairngorms National Parks, are very much cases in point. Both, if well-executed, could demonstrate to the world how well Scotland can design transport infrastructure which respects and indeed displays to people the superb scenery and wealth of habitats and wildlife that the country has to offer. Badly done, they would send exactly the opposite signal.

These comments are noted and acknowledged. The design of these, and other routes must be carefully considered.

Our second comment is about the nature of proposals which are appropriate at the present time and in the light of current concerns about climate change.

SNH strongly supports action such as that being taken by Scottish Government to lead in acting to mitigate its effects.

Among the three principal aims of the National Transport Strategy is to reduce the emissions arising from transport to tackle the issue of climate change.

Yet the STPR projects that over the period from 2005 to 2022, road transport emissions will increase by 7%, even after taking account of expected improvements in vehicle efficiency. Given that context, we would expect any programme of strategic investment in transport infrastructure to be geared to achieving a marked change in direction — in the first instance to avert the projected 7% increase and thereafter to secure real reductions. We would also expect a strategic programme to lead to reduced dependence on oil, so as to anticipate reduced availability of oil in the decades ahead.

We recognise that the STPR does place considerable emphasis on projects — rail investments particularly — that could help in this regard. Taking all projects collectively, however, the Environmental Report concludes that the STPR will only yield a decrease in overall emissions of around 1% compared with a business as usual scenario.

At a time when society is facing such a major challenge in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, might not a strategic investment programme such as is proposed in the STPR reasonably be expected to aspire to deliver far more than the estimated 1% reduction in emissions?

We appreciate that the STPR only addresses issues on Scotland’s strategic transport network. We also recognise that transport infrastructure cannot achieve significant reductions on its own but needs transport policies and planning policies to work in the same direction. It would seem important that the interventions taken forward from the STPR should be fully consistent with combating climate change.

To address this issue, it would be desirable to examine alternatives. For roads projects this might mean investigating management of traffic along the route to both improve traffic flow and reduce accidents, as well as moving freight on to the railway.

We would also suggest that the projects be prioritised, so that those which can be confidently expected to yield climate change benefits proceed as quickly as practicable, whilst those that would not are subject to further scrutiny. This should involve more rigorous analysis and quantification of emissions projections and placing greater weight on the objective of emissions reductions.

The recommendations from STPR arise directly from the objectives of the National Transport Strategy.

These were used to Frame the STPR’s strategic objective and, in turn, its corridor based objectives. The contribution of the STPR to overall climate change action is noted.

The use of worst case assumptions in the STPR environmental assessment should be noted, as should the complementary nature of the STPR’s interventions in the wider context of delivering the National Transport Strategy and the National Planning Framework.

Alternatives to STPR interventions have been considered. Chapter 4 outlines this consideration.

The prioritisation of interventions in the manner described is not currently practicable, partly as the detail of the assumptions that might be made in deriving the figures produced is not adequate to offset the uncertainties inherent in modelling techniques.

Also, given the uncertainties over such factors as the future electrical generation sources for rolling stock and the impact of road vehicle technology changes, the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to transport cannot be divided in a way that allows the impact of STPR, as it develops incrementally, to be determined with the accuracy suggested.