2 National Objectives and STPR Policy Expectations
More detailed national objectives and policy expectations have been developed. These are aligned to the policy context and evidence emerging from the assessment of performance of the network.
2.2 National Objectives
In seeking to contribute to the Governmentâ€™s central Purpose, the STPR will focus on interventions that contribute to the three Key Strategic Outcomes (KSOs) identified in the National Transport Strategy. National objectives have been set under each of the KSOs. The national objectives have been set taking account of both the policy context and key issues emerging from the assessment of the strategic transport network. The performance of the network/node/corridor against these objectives has then been used to develop additional objectives at an urban network/ strategic node and corridor level where appropriate.
Improved Journey Times and Connections, to tackle congestion and the lack of integration and connections in transport that impact on the potential for continued and sustainable economic growth.
In particular, the STPR will generate options, based on current and forecast performance, by exploring the opportunities to:
- Promote â€˜competitiveâ€™ inter-urban journey times;
- Reduce inter-urban journey time on public transport ;
- Promote journey time reduction on the trunk road network for prioritised vehicles and users (e.g. high occupancy vehicles, freight, bus) where STAG appraisal demonstrates that a strong economic case can be balanced with environmental objectives. Elsewhere on the trunk road network provide improvements to journey time reliability;
- Promote journey time reductions between the central belt2 and Aberdeen/Inverness primarily to allow business to achieve an effective working day3 when travelling between these centres;
- Maximise the labour catchment area in city regions where economic evidence demonstrates that this is required (favouring public transport and high occupancy vehicles and balancing with other policy measures that promote reduction in need to travel i.e. planning policy); and
- Support the development and implementation of relevant proposed national developments identified in the NPF2.
Reduced emissions, to tackle the issues of climate change, air quality and health improvement. Recognising the challenges of reducing emissions the overall objectives for the transport network are to adopt a stepped approach to reducing transport emissions towards 2050:
- Reduce CO2 emissions per person km;
- Stabilise total CO2 emissions; and
- Reduce CO2 emissions in line with expectations from the emerging climate change bill.
Mitigation measures will be sought that are within the devolved competency of the Scottish Government. It is recognised that the extent of intervention will need to be considered with other expectations in delivering the Governmentâ€™s central Purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth. It is also recognised that many of the potential measures to reduce emissions are reserved to the UK Government or are the responsibility of the European Union. This restricts the extent to which the STPR can comprehensively address these issues. A stepped approach to reducing transport emissions over the period to 2050 is, therefore, adopted for the strategic transport networks, starting with measures to reduce the intensity of transport emissions.
Improved Quality, Accessibility and Affordability to give people a choice of public transport, where availability means better quality transport services and value for money or an alternative to the car.
- To promote continuing reduction in accident rates and severity rates across the strategic transport network, recognising the need to continue the work of the Strategic Road Safety Plan4 through the STPR period;
- Promote seamless travel;
- Improve the competitiveness of public transport relative to the car; and
- Improve overall perceptions of public transport.
2.3 STPR Policy Expectations
2.3.1 Key Connections
In assessing the performance of the network, the STPR will pay particular attention to the objectives for the network as a whole. It is expected that the network should:
- Link major urban centres;
- Provide links to airports and ports;
- Provide links to international gateways and cross borders;
- Link peripheral communities;
- Link areas of population change;
- Facilitate freight routes;
- Link key tourist areas; and
- Link areas of economic growth and regeneration areas of national significance.
2.3.2 Investment Hierarchy
In developing and appraising options, it is recognised that investment in the national strategic transport network should be targeted:
- Firstly, at maintaining and safely operating existing assets;
- Secondly, at promoting a range of measures, including innovative solutions, to make better use of existing capacity (Interventions may include technology based, fiscal and â€˜soft measuresâ€™ in addition to engineering solutions); and
- Thirdly, at promoting targeted infrastructure improvements.
In this context, it is important to recognise that investment in rail, due to its nature, can result in an overlap between the first and second levels of the hierarchy.
The STPR will therefore not bring forward recommendations for infrastructure improvements without first considering the requirement for, and effectiveness of, interventions in the first two categories.