Consultation Digest (National) Issue 5, 12 March 2021: Transport projects for a low-carbon Scotland

There must be an election coming! One of the signs is the reduction in the number of new consultations from the Scottish Government as it wraps up its work programme for this current Parliament. However, before Parliament dissolves and Government goes into purdah there is a petition to sign asking parties to support cycling, and the Strategic Transport Project Review consultation to respond to.

This month the Digest focuses on Transport Scotland’s Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) Phase 1 consultation. STPR2 influences the Scottish Government’s transport investment programme in Scotland over the next 20 years (2022 – 2042). Unlike STPR1 the new review has a big focus on sustainable transport projects and because of this we need to provide as much constructive support as possible.

Section 1: Current Consultations

(in date order for responses)

1.1: Law Commission (& Scottish Law Commission) – Automated Vehicles: A regulatory framework for automated vehicles

This 3rd consultation builds on the two previous consultations on safety assurance, allocating legal responsibility, and licensing AVs for passenger services and public transport.

Tricia Fort has responded to this consultation on behalf of GoBike. Download the document below and use this as a guide to your own response.

Closes 18 March 2021

1.2: Cycling UK in Scotland – Cycling for everyone election petition

Ahead of the election on 6 May, Cycling UK in Scotland is aiming to show political parties that there is huge support for cycling from people across Scotland.

Their Manifesto for Cycling asks the next Government to:

  • Invest more money in cycling
  • Create safe space for people to cycle, walk and wheel
  • Enable people in rural communities to cycle

Add your name in support of the asks – and increase pressure on parties to improve their commitment to cycling ahead of the election. Sign the petition and share with your friends, family and contacts.

Closes 26 March 2021

1.3: Scottish Government — Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change

This consultation has longer to run than previously advertised so still time to influence this public engagement strategy.

Closes 31 March 2021

1.4: Transport Scotland – Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2)

STPR2 outlines Transport Scotland’s plans for major transport infrastructure projects in the coming 20 years. Instead of being dominated by major road building projects like STPR1, this phase 1 consultation of STPR2 has a much more sustainable transport focus, including reallocation of road space for active travel, development of Active Freeways, and expansion of 20mph zones.

Because of Covid STPR2 will be in 2 phases as Government outlines – ‘the first of which will make recommendations on transport interventions for investment in the short term, as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Scottish Government plans for a green recovery. With Phase 2 reporting in Autumn 2021, STPR2 will then give Scottish Ministers a programme of potential transport investment opportunities for the period 2022-2042.’

In responding to this consultation, I would advise GoBike members not to be daunted by the size of the document or all of the detail in appendices and accompanying documents. The most important things to focus on are the 8 themes and 20 interventions summarised on pdf pages 10 & 11 of the phase 1 report, and the options for Phase 2, Appendix A. These are mostly focussed on sustainable transport and should therefore be, on the whole, supported.

Later in the report or in the accompanying appendices you can read in greater detail about each of the 20 interventions. Having said this, these draft recommendations (as they are called) still lack detail of what projects will actually deliver from 2022 onwards. For example, there is no commitment to the number of kilometres of Active Travel Freeways which will be constructed in Scotland. This may come in Phase 2.

For more of an indication of the types of projects that STPR2 will deliver you have to look at the options being taken forward to Phase 2 for appraisal – all listed in Appendix A. This list includes things such as upgrading the NCN, roll out of public bike hire schemes, segregated active travel routes, and School Streets.

Whilst the 20 interventions proposed cover many positive areas which desperately need funding there may be gaps that you identify when you ready through. One concern is the report’s focus for the short-term on either AT Freeways (Intervention No.1) or making Spaces for People (SfP) permanent (No. 7). For a coherent active travel network in Scotland government needs to do more than just creating key segregated routes into cities, and making the good, but limited, SfP interventions permanent. This, and any other gaps, are worth including in your response as recommendations to enhance STPR2. Phase 2 may include some of the other projects we want to see as greater detailed interventions are developed.

Here is a shortcut to the Case for Change information for the Glasgow region.

Providing your feedback: The STPR2 page is confusing because it looks like it has multiple links for feedback. However all questions to provide feedback on themes, interventions, options and the Case for Change are in this survey form.

Closes 31 March 2021

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

2.2: Scottish Government – Permitted Development Rights (phase 2)

No news yet on Phase 2 of the consultation which will cover permitted development rights for e-bike charging points.

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

3.1: Scottish Parliament – Climate Change Plan update

Four Committees at Holyrood have scrutinised aspects of the government’s updated Climate Change Plan and produced reports. Cycling and transport issues were most closely dealt with by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee although the Local Government and Communities received evidence on placemaking and neighbourhoods.

Environment, Climate Change and Land Use committee report

Rural Economy and Connectivity committee report 

Energy, Economy, and Fair Work report

Local Government and Communities Committee report

3.2: Transport Scotland – Road Safety Framework to 2030

Transport Scotland published its new Road Safety Framework last month. The consultation featured in the November edition of the National Digest. There were some significant improvements to the published document which I outlined in a recent blog for Cycling UK in Scotland.