At Transport Scotland we
aim to achieve excellence in all that we do, bringing together all
our expertise and working with our partners to develop and
implement Scotland’s transport priorities. As an organisation
we are committed to being engaged with our stakeholders and attuned
to their needs, respected for our professional judgement, trusted
in our advice and effective in our delivery.
During 2008/09 Transport Scotland had, on
average, 279 permanent staff together with 57 consultants providing
specialist services and agency staff covering vacancies.
Efficient use of public
Transport Scotland as a public body is
responsible for ensuring it makes best use of taxpayers’
money in line with the principles of Efficient Government and Best
Value. During 2008/09 we delivered £40 million of
efficiencies through more competitive prices for trunk road
management and maintenance, negotiating savings on the
Airdrie-Bathgate rail project and by obtaining a more efficient
level of grant funding to Network Rail.
As in previous years, we fully utilised our available budget of
£2,084 million through efficient management control,
delivering the maximum potential from the funds available.
Our administrative costs were £16.2 million which was less
than 1% of our overall budget.
Full details are set out in our Annual Accounts.
Partnerships in planning
Transport Scotland is working closely with
Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)
and other partners in preparing for a successful Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games. Our involvement includes public transport
access to Games venues and traffic management issues, as well as
our role in ensuring that infrastructure projects such as the M74
Completion project are delivered in time for the Games.
Our people are key
to delivering our priorities. Our recruitment policies are designed
to ensure that we have the right people, with the right skills and
experience, in the right jobs at the right time, matching our
resources to our future needs.
Transport Scotland is a co-signatory to Delivering Planning Reform, which was published by the
Scottish Government in October 2008. This looks at how together we
can significantly increase co-operation, speed up the pace of
reform and improve the efficiency of the land-use planning system.
We have also published our own Service Improvement Plan setting out
how we are going to deliver on that commitment. During the period
April to December 2008 we responded to 86.6% of minor development
planning applications within 14 days, exceeding our target of 85%.
We have now increased our target to 90%.
Transport Scotland recognises that transport is particularly
important to people with disabilities and we have continued to
engage with a wide range of disability organisations including the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland and the Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance to ensure that the
infrastructure improvements we deliver are designed to incorporate
access and inclusion for all members of society. We also chair the Scottish Rail Accessibility Forum and the Roads for All
Forum which bring together industry and disability
In early 2009 we undertook the first wave of
our second road user survey to improve further our
understanding of the requirements of road users on the safety and
condition of the trunk road network. This identified the top
priorities of road users as being:
- improved road condition
- improved response time to road defects
- improved quality of road repairs
- improved road drainage
- reduced frequency of roadworks
- improved provision and condition of cycle lanes
A further series of surveys was carried out in June and July
2009 and a report will be published in the near future.
In striving for excellence in transport delivery, both
nationally and internationally, we recognise the benefits to be
gained in both attracting industry expertise to Scotland and in our
staff engaging with global experts through attendance at seminars
and conferences. The European Transport Conference is a key
annual event for European transport practitioners and researchers.
This event, held in the Netherlands in 2008, attracted around 450
delegates from over 30 countries. In June, Transport Scotland was
successful in its bid to host the Conference in Glasgow from 2010
The first Transport Resilience Seminar was held in August
and was attended by around 90 senior representatives from the
Scottish transport sector. Participants heard from a range of
speakers, including the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and
Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP, about the roles of the
various agencies in responding to incidents and emergencies
impacting on the transport network.
In October 2008 international delegates from the World Roads
Association Technical Committee on Preserving the Environment participated in a conference hosted by Transport Scotland on Roads
and Climate Change.
A review of our Freedom of Information
Publishing Scheme was carried out at the start of the year and
we committed to proactively publishing a greater amount of
information than previously. The scheme was approved by the
Scottish Information Commissioner and published in June.
We have continued to develop our website
during the year; in particular we have enhanced our major transport
projects pages. An independent review undertaken by Ipsos Mori
found that overall the website was providing a satisfactory
experience for users. We will use these findings to further improve
and develop the site.
As in previous years, recruiting the right
staff continued to be a challenge. Within this context, our
continuous recruitment process is geared towards ensuring that
succession planning is addressed and that we have appropriate
people, skills and experience in place.
We have recognised the challenges that lie
ahead in the construction sector and the shortages in skills in
civil engineering and other technical professional areas. We
therefore run our own Graduate Training Scheme recognised by
the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Highways and
Transportation and the Transport Planning Society. Graduates follow
a structured training programme across the breadth of work we
undertake and our aim is to prepare them for professional review by
their relevant institution within five years of joining the
programme. In 2008/09 we had five graduates and three student
placements within Transport Scotland.
We have a dedicated Learning and Development
Manager and a tailored development programme for all staff in
Transport Scotland, identifying critical skill gaps and essential
development requirements and providing a range of training courses
and development opportunities. These include a comprehensive
induction process, leadership development programmes and lunchtime
seminars on transport-related issues. During the year staff
undertook 6,055 hours of learning and development, recognising the
importance of this crucial area.
Travel Plan and
This Report has already set out the steps we
are taking to reduce emissions and energy consumption in our road
and rail projects. We are also working hard nearer to
In April 2008 we published the UK’s first ‘carbon
focused’ Travel Plan. The aspiration of this Plan is
"to measure, monitor and minimise the greenhouse gas emissions
arising from travel by Transport Scotland employees". Prior to
publishing the Travel Plan, we undertook a survey in May 2006 of
the travel patterns of our staff, covering both their commute to
and from our office in Buchanan House in Glasgow, and also their
travel throughout Scotland and beyond for business purposes. The
Travel Plan then set some challenging targets for reducing our
travel greenhouse gas emissions. The original May 2006 survey was
followed up with a second survey in late 2008.
We have made significant progress in reducing our CO2 emissions
in staff commuting to and from work, achieving a 16% reduction in
rail travel and 5% by private car. We are well on course to meet
our initial targets of a 5% and 10% reduction respectively by
The picture is not so good in relation to business travel where
our overall emissions, particularly for air travel, have increased.
While the nature of Transport Scotland’s work means that many
of our staff need to travel throughout the UK, internationally and
to and from transport projects across Scotland, we will be
redoubling our efforts to ensure we do so in the most sustainable
We have also recently set up a Green Committee of Environmental
Guardians from among our staff within our main building at Buchanan
House, Glasgow, and also at the Traffic Control Centre, Atlantic
Quay, Glasgow. Their role is to seek effective ways of reducing the
amount of power we use and to encourage recycling.
Transport Scotland has a well-established
system of risk management to inform decisions on financial and
operational planning and to assist in achieving our objectives and
targets. To further strengthen this, during 2008/09 we put in place
a high-level risk strategy setting out a consistent approach to the
implementation of risk management within Transport Scotland at
strategic, programme and project levels. A Risk Management
Committee was set up, responsible for developing a risk framework,
for maintaining the corporate risk register, for facilitating the
production and management of risk registers within project teams
and Directorates and for enhancing the management of risk across
all areas of the business.
Transport Scotland is committed to equal
opportunity in employment and advancement. This is based on ability
to do the job irrespective of race, colour, ethnic or national
origins, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation,
age, work pattern or membership/non-membership of a trade union.
All staff are entitled to be treated with respect in an environment
free from discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying.
Transport Scotland recognises, respects and values the diversity of
the society that it serves and is actively working to meet the
interests of people from all sections of society.
In 2006 the Transport Scotland Board
published a corporate policy statement pledging its commitment to
effective health and safety management across all of the
Agency’s undertakings. During the year there were no
notifiable incidents. There were six minor incidents: two accidents
within the office, one near-miss incident involving a third party
contractor and three minor road traffic events. Staff completed
over 546 hours of health and safety training. Driving at work has
been recognised as one of the most significant health and safety
risks to employees and a ‘Driving Safely’ awareness
campaign was launched in February 2009.
The Chief Executive is responsible for
promoting and supporting effective staff relations; consulting with
trade union representatives in line with the Partnership Agreement
between the Council of Scottish Government Unions and the Scottish