Delivering Policies and Projects

Delivering Policies and Projects

Transport Scotland will focus on delivering the policies and projects required to progress key improvements to transport infrastructure and services which will support and boost Scotland's growth, productivity and participation.

This includes delivering on key areas of change since the previous Corporate Plan including those illustrated in this section.

Lifting of the steel girders at M9 Chartershall Bridge
Lifting of the steel girders at M9 Chartershall Bridge © Crown copyright

Delivering the Scottish Government's ambition and vision for transport

The Scottish Government will continue to develop its long-term ambitions and vision for transport. For the longer-term ambition, on 6 December 2011 at the publication of the Scottish Government's Infrastructure Investment Plan (December 2011)3, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment announced the overall intention to dual the road network between all Scotland's cities by 2030. Within that intention is a commitment to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness by 2025 and the A96 by 2030.

Transport Scotland will:

  • Continue to work with Ministers in developing this work in relation to transport planning, infrastructure and connecting all of the communities of Scotland in a modern, effective and efficient transport system

Delivering Economic Benefits

An efficient transport system is essential for enhancing productivity and delivering faster, more sustainable growth in a low carbon economy.

In the short term, investing in transport infrastructure supports the hard-pressed construction sector.

Ongoing investment in transport also connects regions and people to economic opportunity, whether through business, leisure travel, or tourism, thus contributing to national social cohesion and reducing the disparity between the regions of Scotland.

Our investment in Scotland's transport infrastructure plays a key role in creating the best possible conditions for business success. It also directly supports business:

  • In 2010-11, 95 per cent of Transport Scotland's £1.8 billion budget was invested back into the private sector, supporting 25 per cent of civil engineering contracts in Scotland and 11,000 jobs
  • Our existing major road and rail capital investment programme generates significant net economic benefits to the Scottish economy

Caissons arriving for Forth Replacement Crossing
Caissons arriving for Forth Replacement Crossing (Courtesy of Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors)

Delivering on Transport Planning

Transport Scotland is a key agency in the planning system and works closely with colleagues in the Scottish Government and Planning Authorities to deliver this responsibility. Building on the progress made in recent years Transport Scotland will:

  • Continue to work towards the aims and commitments of Delivering Planning Reform in seeking to deliver a more efficient and effective planning system which contributes to sustainable economic growth. In Development Planning, Transport Scotland proactively engages at all stages in the preparation of Development Plans from pre Main Issues Reports through to Examinations
  • Progress in identifying future transport investment priorities across Scotland drawing from the STPR

Delivering on Infrastructure Projects

The Agency will continue to take forward a range of major road and public transport projects as set out in the Delivery Commitments table in Section 4.

Investment in trunk roads and railways in Scotland remains high. During the three-year period of this Plan the Scottish Government has allocated £5.4 billion 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.

The Transport Sector Plan of the Infrastructure Investment Plan focuses on completing projects that are already underway and taking forward the projects identified in the STPR, including the Borders Railway and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. At the same time, innovative financial models are being developed, and the necessary design and planning stages for a pipeline of future projects will be undertaken, to ensure that when funding routes become available, we can move forward.

In addition to targeted and prioritised infrastructure investment, over the next three years, we will:

  • Support maintenance of assets to ensure they remain safe and reliable and encourage a collaborative approach to asset management planning
  • Focus investment on making connections better, within and to/from Scotland, improving reliability, accessibility and journey times, and seeking to maximise the opportunities for employment, leisure and tourism
  • Facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy by developing low carbon technology initiatives providing integrated and cost-effective public transport and better connecting people, places and work
  • Facilitate the development of associated transport policy and legislation in partnership with the wider public sector and key transport stakeholders

The Forth Replacement Crossing is the largest construction project in the country in a generation and will create an iconic structure for Scotland in the 21st century. It will connect communities on a local, regional and national scale.

Visual of Haymarket Station as part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme
Visual of Haymarket Station as part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme
(Courtesy of Network Rail)

Identified as a national priority, the crossing will be a cable-stayed bridge upstream of the existing road bridge, supported by making use of the existing Forth Road Bridge as a dedicated public transport corridor. The crossing is vital to maintain the capacity and capability of the national and regional road network and will bring additional benefits to Scotland's economy estimated to be worth £6 billion.

The M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvement project, which combines the upgrade of A8 Baillieston to Newhouse, completing the motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, work to improve Raith Interchange and the widening of key sections of the M8, M73 and M74. This will boost Scotland's economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond. Creating better connectivity between the economic centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh, reducing journey times through the M8 corridor by approximately 20 minutes in peak periods.

The Scottish rail network is extensive and diverse and of a similar size to many independent rail systems in the smaller countries of Europe. With around 2,800 kilometres of track (25% of which is electrified) and 350 stations, the rail system includes the most heavily-used commuter network in the UK outside London, as well as regional routes which provide lifeline connections to remote communities and promote tourism. It is a mixed-use railway with both rail passenger services and freight companies using the network.

There is increasing demand for rail passenger services, with ScotRail passenger numbers increasing by 25.5% since the start of the current franchise (contract) in 2004.

The year 2014 is a milestone in the evolution of our railways, with both the contract for rail passenger services and the financial arrangements for Network Rail due for renewal. This provides an opportunity to determine the appropriate level of subsidy for the railway in Scotland and requires a clear and strategic view as to the priorities for our funding.

To improve journey times and connections, we will take forward rail programmes such as the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvements Programme, the Highland Main Line, and drive forward Ministerial aspirations for High Speed Rail.

In the Corporate Plan period 2012-15 we will:

  • Increase expenditure on rail services and maintain the current rail network
  • Continue design and development of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvements Programme
  • Let the next contract for the provision of Scotland's rail passenger services
  • Maximise the use of Network Rail's Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) to fund new rail projects
  • Re-establish passenger railway services for the first time since 1969 from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders working with Network Rail, in partnership with City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and Scottish Borders Council, to deliver the project and its benefits for local communities and businesses

Image of the new Stornoway-Ullapool ferry due to enter service in summer 2014
Image of the new Stornoway-Ullapool ferry due to enter service in summer 2014
© Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd

  • Work with Department for Transport (DfT) and HS2Ltd to develop a delivery plan for High Speed Rail to Scotland by May 2015

A number of associated transport infrastructure projects are being undertaken to support the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Several are completed including the M74 Completion scheme and the M80 upgrade. The Airdrie - Bathgate rail line will help Games spectators arriving by public transport as well as improving links to jobs in Glasgow. Specific games-related infrastructure projects being supported by Transport Scotland include:

  • An upgraded station at Dalmarnock which will be an access point to the Athletes' Village and some of the main Games venues. The project is scheduled for completion by November 2013
  • The commitment of up to £40 million towards funding the Glasgow Fastlink core bus scheme which will improve connectivity between the city centre and the West

Delivering on Trunk Road Maintenance

The 3,400 kilometre Motorway and Trunk Road network is the single most valuable asset for which Scottish Ministers are responsible. Over the Corporate Plan period we will invest around £0.7 billion in maintaining and operating this vital asset. This investment delivers routine, cyclic and winter maintenance to maintain the safety, environment and amenity of Scotland's trunk roads. Investment also includes essential structural repairs to roads and bridges, road safety programmes, information for road travellers and an emergency response facility to deal with emergencies and incidents on the network. During the Corporate Plan period we will appoint new Trunk Road Operating Companies (TROCs) through our 4th Generation Contracts. It is intended that new 4G TROCs will commence operations in the South West and North West trunk road units on 1 September 2012 and in the East units on 1 April 2014.

Delivering on Lifeline and External Connections

Transport Scotland will continue to provide strategic and specific policy advice and comprehensive support to Scottish Ministers on their priorities in aviation, ports, subsidised, commercial and international ferry services, freight and inland waterways. This involves working closely with airlines, airport operators, the ports sector, ferry operators, the road haulage and freight sector and others to enable the efficient, effective and resilient delivery of transport services.

Transport Scotland will:

  • Continue to sponsor four public corporations - Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, David MacBrayne Ltd and Scottish Canals
  • Procure subsidised ferry services in line with the Ferries Plan; and public service obligation air services to Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra
  • Continue the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) ferry fares for the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree and pilot RET to Islay, Colonsay and Gigha from October 2012, to Arran from October 2014 and to the remaining West Coast and Clyde islands within the lifetime of this Parliament

For aviation, Transport Scotland will:

  • Continue to engage with airlines interested in serving the Scottish market. We provide market intelligence and data relevant to the construction of the business cases which airlines need to develop before taking decisions about starting up new routes
  • Work with Scottish Enterprise/ Scottish Development International and VisitScotland to develop our international air network - improving business connectivity, encouraging inward investment and making Scotland more accessible for inbound tourism

Continue to provide support for air services serving Scotland's remote communities by:

  • Supporting Highlands and Islands Airports provision of airport infrastructure at ten airports across the Highlands and Islands, and at Dundee, providing essential business and social connections
  • Supporting three essential air service links with Glasgow from Barra, Campbeltown and Tiree - links that cannot be provided commercially - and we will progress the acquisition of aircraft for these services
  • Continuing the Air Discount Scheme to bring more affordable air fares to residents of our remotest communities

For ports, we will:

Work with the ports industry to help ensure that ports maximise the contribution that they make to the local, regional and national economies

  • Work with the ports industry, Marine Scotland, Local Authorities and others to help maximise opportunities for manufacturing, deployment, operations and maintenance activity generated by the development of offshore renewable energy
  • Produce revised Trust Port Guidance for Scotland, in consultation with the sector, reflecting and building on progress made since publication of the original guidance in 2000

Electric vehicle charging point
Electric vehicle charging point © DevlinPhoto

Scottish Green Bus Fund
Scottish Green Bus Fund (Courtesy of Lothian Buses)

Delivering Environmental Sustainability

Low Carbon Economy and Transport

The Scottish Government has a firm commitment to delivering the Transport abatement aspirations set out in the Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP) Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting the Emissions Reduction Targets 2010-2022 (published 14 March 2011)4.

The Scottish Government's Climate Change Delivery Plan sets out a vision of almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050. The scale of this challenge is sizeable and involves looking at creative approaches and innovative solutions.

The decarbonisation of transport does not lend itself to quick solutions. Our aim is to balance the significant subsidy that we offer for public transport such as bus (£0.25 billion per annum) with ongoing investment in behaviour change initiatives, walking and cycling infrastructure, and technology development. Partnership working and funding with the wider public and private sectors will add significant value.

In the Corporate Plan period 2012-15 we will:

  • Promote collaboration with the wider public and private sectors to reduce transport emissions
  • Further develop innovative, low carbon travel solutions, via the Future Transport Fund, which will enable new investment in a range of aspects of this including cycling infrastructure, freight modal shift and low carbon vehicles
  • Develop strategy on Low Carbon Vehicles (LCVs) and infrastructure, and continue to encourage the wider procurement of LCVs, including hybrid buses and ferries. This will be underpinned by the establishment of new partnership groups involving academia, industry and enterprise bodies
  • Continue to work in partnership with delivery bodies such as Sustrans and Cycling Scotland, to invest in walking and cycling infrastructure, and promote behaviour change, making progress towards delivery of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland
  • Work with a range of partners to promote more sustainable travel choices within businesses and organisations too, as well as within the community (e.g. through support for the development of a network of car clubs across Scotland)
  • Evaluate the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) demonstration programme in 2012. This has aimed to encourage people to adopt travel patterns that save them money, make them healthier, reduce transport emissions and develop more cohesive communities. We will be discussing with partners and others how we can use it as a foundation for more sustainable transport at the community level

Protecting Scotland's Environment

Transport Scotland will ensure that protection and enhancement of Scotland's environment is a key consideration in the construction and maintenance of the transport infrastructure for which we are responsible. Minimising environmental impacts on air, land, water and local communities, in tandem with achieving positive change across climate change mitigation/adaptation and biodiversity elements will remain a priority during the planning, design and delivery of all our activities.

In the Corporate Plan period 2012-15, we will:

  • Engage with public and private sector stakeholders on both environmental emission (such as air quality and noise) and environmental impacts (such as flooding or landslips) to demonstrate practical environmental sustainability and contribute to the overall improvement of Scotland's environment
  • Fully integrate our Carbon Management System (CMS) to influence and support low carbon decision-making across the design and delivery of transport infrastructure projects and network maintenance
  • Utilise our CMS - in tandem with our Carbon Management Plan - to facilitate annual sustainability reporting
  • Embed resource efficiency into our practices and adopt the next generation of Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Construction Commitments
  • Support sustainable design, construction, maintenance and operations through the adoption of infrastructure assessment schemes
  • Seek opportunities to deliver community benefit through our projects

Artist's impression of new Traffic Scotland Control Centre
Artist's impression of new Traffic Scotland Control Centre (Courtesy of Jacobs Arup)

Delivering Innovation and Travel Information

Transport Scotland will foster innovation in all of our work. By working closely with stakeholders, Transport Scotland can ensure that effective communication is maintained. This will allow for more successful collaboration across the Agency and with transport agencies across the UK, Local Authorities, and other partners.

This will include:

  • Providing the travelling public with up-to-date, reliable travel information which is key to them being able to make informed choices about timing and mode of travel. Traffic Scotland has a dedicated website ( and customer call centre (0800 028 1414) for the public to access live traffic information about the trunk roads in their area
  • Providing Traveline Scotland to those looking to plan their journey using public transport, which is available online ( or via a customer helpline (0871 200 2233)

Both Traffic Scotland and Traveline Scotland are operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2011, Traffic Scotland introduced a free Smartphone application which is now available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms. And in November 2011, the internet-based Traffic Scotland Radio was launched to provide bulletins to the travelling public. Bulletins are also issued via local radio and news stations. Traffic Scotland and Traveline also publish live travel information via social media. In the planning period we will:

  • Continue to invest in systems to improve the quality of information provided. This includes the move of the Traffic Scotland Control Centre from its current base at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow to a new upgraded facility within the Forth Replacement Crossing's Contact and Education Centre based in South Queensferry

In the rail sector, Transport Scotland has worked with the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and the rail industry to improve passenger information during disruption in line with the GB-wide standards owned by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and overseen by ORR. Transport Scotland will:

  • Continue to invest in improvement to systems, building on the 16 customer information screens installed at key stations for use during disruption and a high profile winter weather preparedness campaign to encourage customers to sign up to receive disruption information. ScotRail has developed new mobile phone Apps to improve access to disruption information and continues to publicise the following information sources: website, journey alert, twitter, information screens at stations, help points and phone lines

Road Safety Scotland - launch of 2011-12 Festive Safety Campaign
Road Safety Scotland - launch of 2011-12 Festive Safety Campaign (Courtesy of Tony Marsh)

Delivering Connectivity and Integration

Bus policy in Scotland aims to improve connectivity, quality of service, maintain the bus network, and increase modal shift through patronage growth. Key stakeholders in the bus industry will be encouraged to actively participate in the ongoing development of bus policy and its implementation, including the provision of affordable and sustainable bus concessionary travel. A Bus Stakeholder Group will have its inaugural meeting in April 2012 to enable active participation in policy development and implementation.

The Scottish Government remains 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.

Concessionary Travel is an important factor that contributes to a more socially inclusive society. Since April 2006 - March 2012, 913 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, improving the quality of life and promoting more active lifestyles and helping disabled and vulnerable people to live independently in their communities

The results of the most recent Scottish Household Survey show that nearly three-quarters of adults are very or fairly satisfied with public transport - up 5 percentage points since 2007. The percentage of people who are very satisfied (26.8 per cent) has increased by 8.2 percentage points since 2007. Transport Scotland will:

  • Work with each sector to continue improvements in customer satisfaction

Delivering on Safety

Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 - Go Safe on Scotland's Roads it's Everyone's Responsibility: Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 20205 is written as a partnership document. The first national Scottish road safety plan in over a decade, it combines action in enforcement, engineering and education, along with encouragement to use the roads safely. It has an ultimate vision of zero fatalities on Scottish roads and is underpinned by evaluation - to ensure we have evidence to invest in what works in road safety to further reduce road casualties.

The Framework is designed to be an enabling document rather than a prescriptive one, and everyone involved in road safety, including road users, is asked to play a part.

One distinctive and highly successful contribution to this partnership working has been the award-winning educational resources produced by Road Safety Scotland (RSS). RSS also produce cutting-edge road safety marketing campaigns under the 'don't risk it' banner, unique to Scotland.

Over the next three years, we will:

  • Continue to orchestrate this partnership working and 'bring to market' some distinctive Scottish solutions. The current priorities include young drivers and rural roads, in addition to the well-established focus on alcohol and seatbelts

But the range of potential activity is very much broader, including consideration of innovative measures such as graduated driver licensing, effective remediation for road traffic offences, and the embedding of a 'drive for life' culture, where driving ability is viewed as a skill to be maintained and enhanced rather than just achieved for the driving test.

Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 also includes the first ever national Scottish casualty reduction targets. The Agency will:

  • Help to achieve Scotland's 2020 road casualty reduction targets. The Road Safety Framework details road safety targets to achieve by 2020 and milestones by 2015 for child and all fatalities and child and all serious injury

Contributing to the achievement of these targets our Strategic Road Safety Action Plan details road safety action on Scotland's trunk road network.

We will also continue to work with partners including Eurorap and other transport agencies both nationally and internationally to share best practice and develop and implement intelligent and innovative solutions.

Snow blower clearing the westbound lane on the A96 east of Keith
Snow blower clearing the westbound lane on the A96 east of Keith (Courtesy of BEAR Scotland)

Delivering on Resilience

Scotland has experienced several difficult weather conditions in recent years including extremely low temperatures, heavy snow, and hurricane-strength winds. Some of the effects of these include localised flooding, landslides, and severe transport disruption. As part of Transport Scotland's commitment to ensuring a reliable and safe trunk road network we will:

  • Work with partners in developing solutions to deal with new challenges. We also intend to take forward further training exercises to include contingencies for the loss of a major bridge, and wide-scale flooding. These follow on from the success of a training exercise, Polar Storm, held in September 2011 around a severe weather event

Our transport resilience team has also been improved and strengthened by the introduction of the Multi-Agency Response Team (MART) following the severe weather events of winter 2010-11. This team is based at the Traffic Scotland Control Centre and is in operation whenever an event has the potential to cause severe network disruption. This will:

  • Continue to allow us to ensure clear and efficient communication across various sectors including the Police, Trunk Road Operating Companies, ScotRail and Transport Scotland, enabling us to reinstate the strategic transport network to full capacity as quickly, and as safely, as possible

Blue Badge Scheme
Blue Badge Scheme (Courtesy of Department for Transport)

Delivering on Mobility and Accessibility

2012 sees the roll-out of a reformed Blue Badge regime for disabled parking. The scheme has not been extensively reviewed since its introduction in 1970 and a major overhaul is now entering its final stages. Transport Scotland will:

  • Be working with key partners to ensure effective implementation of the reforms to the Blue Badge scheme, including associated legislation and support materials including a new on-line application form, revised leaflets and a revised Code of Practice for Local Authorities

Transport Scotland will also:

  • Continue to support Mobility and Access Committee (MACS) and Passengers' View Scotland (PVS) in promoting increased accessibility and providing advice to Ministers from the passenger perspective

Delivering Improved Public Sector Delivery Models

British Waterways (BW), hitherto a cross-border organisation, promotes the use of our canals for leisure, recreation, tourism, regeneration and transport, whilst also conserving the canals' natural and built heritage. From summer 2012, when the English and Welsh canals will transfer to a new waterways charity, the Scottish unit within BW will become a self-standing Scottish public corporation charged with the management and development of the Scottish canal network.

Transport Scotland will:

  • Support the new Scottish Canals Board as it leads the transition and develops a forward plan to maximise opportunities across the range of its activities