TRANSPORT SCOTLAND CORPORATE PLAN 2008-2011
The Scottish Government’s Purpose is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. Our Corporate Plan, covering the three-year period from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2011, sets out how Transport Scotland will help deliver this Purpose through its delivery priorities.
Our delivery priorities, which underpin everything in this Corporate Plan, are firmly focused on the Government’s Purpose, its Strategic Objectives and many of its National Outcomes. As the Government’s Economic Strategy emphasises –
"An efficient transport system is one of the key enablers for enhancing productivity and delivering faster, more sustainable growth. Enhancing transport infrastructure and services can open up new markets, increase access to employment and help to build a critical mass of businesses that drive up competitiveness and deliver growth."
on creating a
more successful country, with
for all of
Scotland to flourish,
Better journey times,
We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe
We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people
We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need
We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society
We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger
Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people’s needs
We live longer healthier lives
We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations
We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production
Transport supports and develops all aspects of Scottish life, our economy and the links between and within our communities. Transport Scotland is responsible, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, for overseeing the operation and improvement of the trunk road and railway networks and for running the national concessionary travel schemes. Working together with our partners in these and other transport sectors, we are committed to delivering an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable transport system for the benefit of the whole Scottish nation.
Transport infrastructure enables businesses to move goods and services across the country and beyond and in doing so helps businesses to prosper and expand. An efficient and well-planned transport system encourages new business to invest in Scotland, from both home and abroad. It enables people to journey safely, quickly and at reasonable cost to their work, to health care and other services, and to their leisure activities. It links communities the length and breadth of Scotland.
Transport Scotland plays a key role in promoting transport integration and connections between public and private transport. Our concessionary fares schemes enable more and more people to take advantage of public transport. An efficient transport system helps promote and develop leisure facilities and tourism, enhancing a key sector of the Scottish economy. Efficient transport systems improve the quality of life and of our environment. In short, transport plays a key role in achieving a wealthier, fairer, smarter, healthier, safer, stronger and greener Scotland.
INVESTMENT – OUR AMBITIONS FOR ROAD AND RAIL TRAVEL
Investment in trunk roads and railways in Scotland is at a record high. During the three-year period of this Plan the Scottish Government has allocated £6.5 billion1 for investment in transport infrastructure and services. It is the role of Transport Scotland to ensure that this money is spent cost-effectively to bring the maximum benefit to the Scottish economy and the people of Scotland. For example, our programme of improvements to rail journeys between Edinburgh and Glasgow will deliver economic benefits of at least £300 million for every 5 minutes saved.
In line with the Government’s Purpose, Transport Scotland will focus investment on improving journey times and connections across Scotland, cutting congestion and emissions, and maximising the opportunities for employment, business, leisure and tourism. We will also focus on providing sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport alternatives to the private car, connecting people, places and work across Scotland.
Enhancing Scotland’s transport services and infrastructure are key to supporting business and employment opportunities in pursuit of a wealthier and fairer Scotland. Transport Scotland’s investment in infrastructure and services facilitates the movement of goods and people, encourages business investment and benefits consumers through lowering the cost of goods and services.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving changes in both the means and patterns of travel are key challenges in securing sustainable economic growth and a greener Scotland. The environmental impacts of all transport policies and projects will be considered in the context of the Government’s Strategic Target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. We will continue to ensure that investment in transport is sustainable and helps to create an environment that delivers a healthier and smarter Scotland.
In designing a modern transport system for Scotland in the 21st century, we need to ensure that everyone in Scotland benefits by providing effective links between people and between communities, both in rural areas and in parts of our larger cities which might otherwise face a degree of isolation. Improved transport connections will enhance the attractiveness of Scotland as a place to live, work and invest and play a key role in building safer and stronger communities across the whole of Scotland, bringing them closer together.
CASE STUDY: BENEFITING LOCAL ECONOMIES
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will provide a 46km-long bypass around the city of Aberdeen with a fast link section to Stonehaven. The scheme will improve the strategic links for industry and commerce to the north and west of the city, remove through traffic from the city and play a major part in the development of a modern integrated transport system for the north east of Scotland. Economic benefits of this scheme for the North East total £1.5 billion.
Our existing major road and rail capital investment programme is estimated to generate net economic benefits of around £12.5 billion2 for the Scottish economy. This includes benefits of £5 billion from the Forth Replacement Crossing, £2 billion from the M74 Completion project, and £300 million from each of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Rail Improvement Programme and the Airdrie to Bathgate rail project.
Examples of some of the key transport investment projects designed to increase Scotland’s sustainable economic growth and meet our ambitions for road and rail transport in Scotland are set out under our Delivery Priorities (see pages 31-33).
THE WIDER ROLE OF TRANSPORT SCOTLAND
Maintaining, improving and extending an effective, sustainable transport system involves much more than simply investing in trunk roads and the rail network. Transport Scotland has and will continue to play a lead role in driving forward many of the wider requirements of a modern transport system. In the following sections we set out some of these themes and how we intend to develop them over the Corporate Plan period.
The Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) will identify transport investment priorities for Scotland from 2012 to 2022. The review, currently being undertaken by Transport Scotland and due to report in 2008, will let us plan for the delivery of an efficient and integrated transport network fit for the 21st century. The review will consider transport schemes across the whole of Scotland and recommend those that will most effectively contribute towards the Government’s Purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth, focusing investment on making connections across Scotland better, improving reliability and journey times and providing cost-effective public transport alternatives to the car.
BRINGING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER
Bringing communities and people across Scotland closer together by improving transport connections between them is a key component in achieving the Government’s Purpose.
The rail network provides valuable lifeline services to remote communities. Routes in the West and North Highlands are benefiting from investment in extensively refurbished trains. The Far North Line from Inverness to Caithness will receive an extra train service each day, and train services on this and other Highland routes will continue to be enhanced to make new connections effective, including connections with ferries and buses. For the first time it is now possible to travel from Orkney to London in one day without the need to use car or plane. The Invernet network of rail services to Inverness has been successful in providing an alternative to the private car for business, education, health and leisure journeys to Inverness and this will be developed further.
The Borders Railway Project will deliver a railway that will bring significant benefits to rural communities, spread wealth to the region and provide a real, sustainable, integrated and cost effective public transport alternative to the car. Construction on the 35 mile route between Edinburgh and Galashiels will commence by 2011 and will be completed within two to three years. The new railway will deliver improved quality of life for communities in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders and open up employment and housing opportunities as well as easing pressure on Edinburgh’s housing market. The environmental benefits from introducing this railway will save 450,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
CASE STUDY: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS
An important part of our road maintenance programme, particularly in rural areas where the trunk road is the only means of access or on ferry routes, is widening and straightening roads whenever possible. Schemes such as A87 Varragil to Portree on Skye and A77 Stranraer to Glasgow route at Burnside along with bridge strengthening programmes such as that on the A82 to Fort William and Inverness through Glencoe and Rannoch Moor ensure good access is maintained to our more fragile rural communities in the West Highlands and the island communities beyond.
The Scottish Government is determined to provide the opportunities and incentives for all our people to contribute to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth. This means providing people with the opportunity to access education, training and employment as well as key services such as health, cultural, sporting and leisure facilities. However, this can be a challenge if you have limited mobility through age or disability or are faced with other barriers. Improved access to transport, including Concessionary Travel, is an important factor that contributes to a more socially inclusive society.
Over 90 per cent of those eligible enjoy free travel on buses and ferries across the whole of Scotland through the older and disabled people scheme. Since April 2006, 318 million free bus journeys have been made. Over the Plan period we will continue to maximise take-up of Concessionary Travel and make it as easy as possible to travel across Scotland thereby:
- Improving the quality of life and promoting more active lifestyles
- Reducing car dependency and increasing the proportion of people using more sustainable forms of transport
- Helping disabled and vulnerable people to live independently in their communities
TRANSPORT SCOTLAND WORKING FOR ITS CUSTOMERS
People and businesses using Scotland’s transport network want stress-free, reliable journeys. They are not particularly interested, for example, in whether the road they are on is a trunk or local road: they simply want a well integrated network. As the lead national body for transport we will work closely with all Scottish Local Authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships to deliver integrated transport solutions which support the local and national outcomes set out in Single Outcome Agreements (SOA)3. We will also work alongside a wide range of bodies from Community Councils to national agencies such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure that all views are taken into consideration and the best solutions delivered.
CASE STUDY: MONITORING SCOTRAIL’S DELIVERY
The Service Quality Incentive Regime, SQUIRE, is a highly effective inspection process to ensure that the ScotRail franchise delivers the quality of service under its contract with Transport Scotland. A team of Transport Scotland inspectors checks train services and every station in Scotland each month to make sure that they are clean and free from graffiti and litter, that toilets are working, that information is available and up to date, and that information systems are working, all to help ensure a quality rail journey for Scottish passengers. No other rail franchise in Britain benefits from as complete a quality inspection process and visitors to Scotland notice the difference.
An important part of seeking to match service delivery to customer expectations is understanding those expectations. Last year, as part of our development of the Trunk Road Asset Management Plan, we asked users of the trunk road network what they thought was good and not so good about the Scottish Trunk Road Network. We plan to use the results of that, and future surveys to set levels of service that are informed by customer expectations.
Unfortunately there are a number of features in our existing transport system which can present barriers to people with disabilities. We have therefore embarked on a programme of work which will see many of those barriers removed over the Plan period. For example we will deliver more lifts and escalators at Waverley station, building on improvements to passenger accessibility already delivered. All of our major investment projects will take disabled access into account and we will look for opportunities to improve access and facilities for disabled people as part of our other work.
We have set up both the Scottish Rail Accessibility Forum and the Roads for All Forum in order to work with disability organisations and make sure that we take accessibility issues fully into account. We will continue to work with the Department for Transport on the "Railways for All" Strategy, under which eight Scottish stations are being improved and we will be consulting with the rail industry and disabled groups in 2008 on which stations should be given priority when allocating future funding. We have also published the Trunk Road Disability Equality Scheme and Action Plan and have undertaken a full Accessibility Audit of the trunk road network. We will report annually on our progress in this area. We will publish the Roads for All Good Practice Guide which sets out our requirements for inclusive design in the construction, operation and maintenance of road infrastructure.
CASE STUDY: IMPROVING RAIL STATION ACCESS
The new footbridge and lifts at Lockerbie Station means that elderly and infirm passengers and parents with young children will no longer need to travel to Carlisle to change platform and then return to Lockerbie. Transport Scotland provided the funding and leadership to enable this long-standing aspiration to be delivered.
CASE STUDY: IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Trunk Road Incident Support Service (TRISS), provided by the Trunk Road Operating Companies as part of their contract with Transport Scotland, supports the emergency services in clearing incidents on the motorway and trunk road network. Dealing with incidents quickly and effectively has a dramatic impact on clearing congestion and improving journey times. Currently in operation in the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas, we will extend the service over the next three years to cover other busy parts of the road network.
Providing the travelling public with up to date reliable travel information is key to them being able to make informed choices about how and when to travel. We have introduced a comprehensive range of "round the clock" travel information services that are both internet and call centre based. Traffic Scotland www.trafficscotland.org and Freight Scotland www.freightscotland.co.uk websites are available for road users, Traveline Scotland www.travelinescotland.com for public transport journey planning and Transport Direct www.transportdirect.info for journey planning around Great Britain. We have improved the performance of the Traffic Scotland website so it can cope with significant peaks in demand. And we have set up a combined Traffic Scotland/Traveline Scotland customer call centre (0800 028 1414 or 0871 200 2233) which provides both road and public transport information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will continue to invest in systems to improve the quality of information we provide such as additional cameras and monitoring equipment for the motorway and trunk road network.
Transport Scotland supports the Government’s aim of delivering an improved planning system and we welcome the new statutory duty on planning authorities to prepare development plans in the context of sustainable development. Early and effective appraisal of transport needs is crucial in helping planning authorities to achieve this and also to meet Scottish Ministers’ emission reduction targets. We will therefore work closely with planning authorities and developers to ensure the effective integration of transport and land use in order to achieve sustainable development and economic growth. In particular, we have prepared new transport appraisal guidance for development planning and management in line with the new Planning Act which, we believe, should be a key part of the land-use planner’s toolkit.
SAFER TRANSPORT – SAFER SCOTLAND
Scotland’s roads are amongst the safest in the world and Transport Scotland is on target to deliver and indeed improve on the UK Government’s 2010 target for casualty reduction.
Transport Scotland is committed to further improving road safety and reducing road accidents wherever we can. In November 2007 we published our first Strategic Road Safety Plan4. This sets the framework for our approach to improving trunk road safety, addressing both historic accident sites and potential accident locations. This approach identifies elements within the road environment which are likely to contribute to an increased risk of injury and sets out strategies to eliminate them. We believe that this will be a major step forward in preventing accidents.
Fatal Accident Rate5
Over the Plan period we will continue to invest in safety improvements, including:
- The provision of dedicated overtaking opportunities on some of our busy single carriageway roads (A75, A77, A9)
- The construction of new flyovers at known accident sites
- Route improvement strategies (A90, A9)
- An internationally recognised programme of safety improvements which reduce risk of harm on our roads
Scottish trunk road network – casualty reduction targets
Working with partners such as EuroRap6 and other national roads organisations, we will continue to develop and implement intelligent and innovative solutions and share best practice across Scotland and internationally.
ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
A Sustainable Future
The Scottish Government is leading the way in tackling climate change. The Government’s Economic Strategy includes sustainability targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the period to 2011 and to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. With our responsibility for Scotland’s trunk road and rail networks, Transport Scotland can make significant positive contributions to the Government’s targets to mitigate climate change and to promote both economic growth and environmental quality and responsibility.
We are investigating the environmental impacts of our trunk road construction and maintenance operations with a view to reducing the carbon, energy and material resources used.
We will take forward a number of road maintenance schemes over the Plan period using the latest sustainable construction techniques and recycling processes. From March 2008, over 20 per cent of the energy supplied to the trunk road network will be provided from green sources.
To encourage active travel as an alternative to the private car, we will continue to support the development of the National Cycle Network on key parts of the trunk road network.
For rail, the Scottish High Level Output Specification (HLOS), published in July 2007, sets out Scottish Ministers’ expectations for Network Rail’s investment between 2009-2014. It is a £3.6 billion rail blueprint aimed at offering more high quality public transport alternatives to the car. It includes a package of measures to improve journey times and reliability and increase capacity across the rail network in Scotland. This includes provision for Edinburgh to Glasgow rail improvements, faster more frequent services between Inverness and Edinburgh/Glasgow, a programme of electrification, and improved infrastructure and service provision on Ayrshire routes and between Aberdeen and Inverness.
We are delivering a rolling programme of electrification of the Scottish rail network, providing quicker, more reliable services with reduced emissions. Electric trains use 25 per cent less energy than equivalent diesel trains. When supplied from sustainable power generation, electric trains can offer emission-free transport. New electrification work has already started in Edinburgh, and the new railway from Edinburgh to Glasgow linking Airdrie and Bathgate will be electrified from its opening. Other busy routes will follow. This will build on the 23 per cent of the network that is already electrified and will allow for a reduced need for diesel engines. All of this will ensure that rail remains an attractive and sustainable means of transport.
CASE STUDY: DELIVERING GREENER TRANSPORT ALTERNATIVES
We are committed to shifting freight from roads to rail. We have recently delivered the Mossend-Elgin rail freight project, which will allow larger containers to travel by rail to the North East and is expected to remove 12.3 million lorry kilometres from Scotland’s roads. The Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine route will reduce the energy usage and improve the cost efficiency of one of Scotland’s heaviest rail freight flows.
We are committed to ensuring, at every level, at every stage, in every project, that mitigation and adaptation considerations are embedded within our decision making processes. Throughout this Plan period we will develop, pilot and implement a range of new procedures and tools to help us systematically manage our carbon footprint. These will provide us with an improved understanding of the carbon associated with our delivery cycle and operational activities, and will allow us to make informed decisions on how we reduce our carbon footprint.
As an organisation we have taken the innovative step of calculating the carbon footprint of our home to work and business travel to help us target our own emission reductions. Our Travel Plan is the first in the UK to set its targets entirely based on carbon reductions. While eight out of ten of our staff already travel to our headquarters in Glasgow by public transport, bicycle or foot, we aim to reduce our emissions by a further 8 per cent over the next two years, equivalent to someone flying around the world six times.
A Resilient Transport Network
Scotland has experienced a number of difficult weather conditions in recent years. This trend is expected to continue in the future with changes in seasonal rainfall patterns leading to wetter winters and autumns, warmer temperatures throughout the year and a greater risk of extreme weather conditions. All of these conditions have the potential for disrupting Scotland’s road and rail networks and impacting the overall safety and reliability of our transport systems.
CASE STUDY: MANAGING THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
There are a number of locations throughout Scotland where the effects of high winds have had adverse consequences on the safety of the travelling public and on the economies of the affected area and the country as a whole. Transport Scotland is working with various organisations to develop National Guidelines for the Management of the Impact of High Winds. These guidelines will establish a framework for identifying and responding to areas of high wind risk on all classes of road throughout Scotland.
We will introduce measures into the planning, operation and maintenance of our trunk road and rail networks to ensure that our transport systems continue to adapt to climate change.
Over the Plan period we will:
- Work with other Government bodies, climate change experts and service providers to gain a better understanding of the long-term impacts of a changing climate on Scotland’s transport systems
- Take forward the programme of design, research and policy initiatives that were identified as part of the Scottish Road Network Climate Change Study
- Finalise the Scottish Road Network Landslide Study and establish a forward work programme to manage and mitigate landslide hazards on the Scottish trunk road network
- Work with Network Rail and First ScotRail to ensure that the Scottish rail network continues to perform in the face of a changing Scottish climate
BUILDING IN INNOVATION
One of Transport Scotland’s Working Principles is to be a Centre of Excellence. We are a European leader in transport appraisal – the testing of whether a transport project is value for money, affordable, deliverable and will achieve the outcomes needed. This is more than simply an economic test but also looks at how the proposed project will impact on the environment, including carbon emissions, safety concerns, access for people, equality issues and how it will integrate with other transport systems and wider government policy. Through our engagement with other transport practitioners in the UK, Europe and beyond we are at the forefront of innovative practice in this area. We also play a key role in shaping the future by encouraging innovation and research through our sponsorship of the Scottish Transport Applications and Research (STAR) conference and our UK lead role in the World Road Congress.
We have introduced Average Speed Enforcement Cameras on our major roadwork sites. These have proved effective in improving the flow of traffic. We will continue to develop other new and innovative ways of improving traffic flow, for example machines which can quickly lay and move temporary concrete barriers and allow road layout to be altered to different circumstances.
We are also at the forefront in developing a new road design standard for single carriageway roads which provides for two lanes of traffic in one direction and one in the other. By switching the layout regularly, so that the two lane sections alternate in each direction, we are able to provide regular, guaranteed overtaking opportunities. This new layout is proving effective in breaking up convoys of traffic on our long distance single carriageway roads. This not only improves the reliability of journey times but also, by reducing frustration, improves road safety.
CASE STUDY: BUILDING IN INNOVATION
The Traffic Customer Care Line is an innovative merging of complementary services making Scotland the first region within the UK to provide public transport information on a continual 24/7 basis. It is not only able to provide route information and handle congestion complaints but also provides public transport alternative options as well as quickly learning of road network problems that could affect public transport services.
0800 028 1414 or 0871 200 2233