Scottish public to have their say on future transport strategy
A new National Transport Strategy for Scotland that presents a marked change in the approach to transport for the next 20 years has been published for public consultation.
The Strategy, which aims to protect our climate and improves lives, details how the transport system will deliver better outcomes for citizens and businesses by promoting equality, taking climate action, helping our economy prosper and improving our health and well-being.
It redefines investment priorities and introduces more accountability with proposals for Citizens’ Panels and a new delivery board.
The commitment to sustainability was reinforced with Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson announcing that five new active travel projects have been given the go ahead through the Places for Everyone fund which is managed by walking and cycling charity Sustrans Scotland. This will see almost £60 million being invested in this new infrastructure in Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow (two projects) and Arbroath over the next five years.
Speaking in Perth, Matheson said: “The National Transport Strategy sets a clear direction for a future where we have a sustainable, inclusive and accessible transport system that helps deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland.
“We know cycling, walking, use of public transport and shared transport options all need to be more affordable, accessible and attractive if we are to make this vision a reality. The Strategy is being launched alongside the allocation of almost £60 million for five new active travel projects, underlining the added benefits that sustainable transport can bring.
“I would like to congratulate all of those awarded funding through Places for Everyone and look forward to the new infrastructure being put in place across the country. It has been great to see the young people in Perth today designing their own walking and cycling facilities for the future with the Sustrans street kit.
“We all have a stake in our transport system as we choose how we want to travel. I would encourage everyone with an interest to consider the new Strategy and to join the conversation. The consultation is available online and we will also be coming out to communities across rural, island and urban locations during the next twelve weeks where it would be great to hear as many views as possible.”
Sustrans Scotland Director Grace Martin said: “We are delighted to announce the projects that will be supported by Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, funded by Transport Scotland. Five large scale projects that will make a real difference to the residents of Perth, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Arbroath.
“Working in partnership with the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme provides support and expertise through all stages, from concept and design to delivery and construction. The programme helps to connect communities and create liveable towns and cities. By putting people back in the heart of places – whether in cities or smaller towns, Places for Everyone makes it easier for people of all ages and abilities to travel actively and to create healthier, happier places to live, work and play.
“We’re excited by the new National Transport Strategy designed to make sure transport helps Scotland to meet its priorities for prosperity, reducing inequality, tackling climate change and healthier people. Sustrans Scotland look forward to working with our partners to deliver these goals by helping more people to walk, cycle and wheel.”
Professor of Transport and Energy at The Institute for Transport Studies Jillian Anable is a member of the National Transport Strategy Review Board. She said: “The strategy is the result of rigorous evidence review, consultation and assessment of Scotland’s needs now and in to the future. This has taken place at the same time as the Climate Emergency has been brought sharply into focus and the strategy will provide a vital foundation to address carbon reduction obligations.”