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Scotland outlines updated vision for National Transport Strategy

Transport Scotland has published an updated delivery plan for 2022-23 for the Scottish Government’s National Transport Strategy (NTS2).

NTS2 was first published in February 2020, with the first NTS2 Delivery Plan published in December 2020. Collectively, the documents set out to create an ambitious vision for Scotland’s transport system covering the next two decades, under four key priorities; reducing inequalities, taking climate action, helping to deliver inclusive economic growth, and improving health and wellbeing.

This second NTS2 Delivery Plan covers the period 2022 to 2023 and sets out the practical actions which are underway, or due to begin, across Scottish Government to deliver the vision, providing a coordinated overview of transport investments and projects.

The plan states: “The NTS2 advocates a vision for Scotland’s transport system that will help create great places – a sustainable, inclusive, safe, and accessible transport system, helping deliver a healthier, fairer, and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.

“This second plan continues to support the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy – promoting walking, cycling, public transport, and bike, car, and ride sharing in preference to single occupancy car use. We will continue to target investment in infrastructure, proactive promotion, and improved co-ordination across all modes to achieve the necessary and generational change in behaviour and attitude towards transport choices; encouraging demand for active travel and low carbon transport options and encouraging multimodal journeys as the norm.”

In relation to rail, the plan details the process of ScotRail coming into public ownership, as of April 1, 2022. It states that key projects for 2022-23 will include a review of rail retail plans, work to incorporate smart ticketing offerings, and the initiation of a national conversation on rail passenger services provided by ScotRail, with the objective of identifying areas for improvement including passenger experience, safety, and perceptions of rail travel in Scotland.

Other rail projects highlighted in the plan include the ongoing development of the Levenmouth rail link, new stations at Reston and Dalcross, and accessibility improvements at Croy and Johnstone stations.

To promote sustainable and healthy travel options, the plan highlights initiatives including the Fair Fares Review, designed to ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to public transport fares as Scotland recovers from the pandemic, and the development of a Community Bus Fund scheme. There are also details of further investment in active travel, such as free bikes for kids pilot projects and other young engagement activities.

To view NTS2, visit the Transport Scotland website here.