Developing Freight Policy Options for a Peripheral Country in Europe: the Case of Scotland
Y Jin, G Deane, WSP, UK
Drawing upon a recent study, we discuss freight policy options in 12 key areas from the perspective of European transport policy development since the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, and the joint use of top-down and bottom-up analyses
Drawing upon a recent study we led on freight policy options in Scotland, UK, this paper discusses the opportunities, constraints and key issues that need to be tackled in freight transport in Scotland, from the perspective of European transport policy development since the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper.
As a peripheral country in Europe, Scotland depends critically on its external freight links for long term trade and economy growth. Within Scotland, both congestion in the urbanised Central Belt and maintaining life-line connections with the remote and rural Highlands and Islands are posing challenging issues for users, operators and policy makers. The country's economic structure is evolving rapidly in many sectors, amid the global and European changes in production and trade. In order to develop an efficient freight transport network that facilitates the medium to long term prosperity and quality of life in Scotland, it is necessary to take a comprehensive view at the Scottish, European and global scales.
In this paper the comprehensive assessment is based on two complementary analyses that have been carried out in the study. On the one hand, a bottom-up approach was used where views from a wide range of producers, consumers, operators, trade associations, campaigning groups and public sector have been assembled through Delphi survey, interviews and a series of freight policy workshops. This has provided a clear picture of how the current system operates, and the trends in the next 5 years. On the other hand, a top-down approach has been adopted through appraising longer terms trends national accounts including extended input-output techniques for demand growth at external, trunk and local networks, and through examining emerging technology in railfreight and multimodal terminal design. The analyses have been used to support the formulation and sifting of policy options.
We will review the policy options in twelve key areas identified from the points of view of enhancing business competitiveness, reducing negative environmental impacts, supporting the development of the freight industry in Scotland, maintaining and improving accessibility to rural and remote areas, and coordinating with wider policies and industry initiatives. These twelve areas are:
1) Balancing freight and passenger requirements on transport infrastructure.
2) Provision of additional capacity for freight, including strategic freight hubs at the national level
3) Capitalising on online retail business growth
4) Promoting modal shift to rail and shipping
5) Improving efficiency and sustainability of road transport
6) Minimising the negative impact of rising transport costs, particularly diesel
7) Levelling the playing field between UK and European transport operators
8) Enhancing skills and professional image in freight and logistics
9) Maintaining road, rail, ferry and airfreight links to remote and rural areas
10) Addressing freight issues in the wider transport strategies
11) Integration with other policy areas and between public agencies
12) Coordinating freight policy with other regions in the UK
Association for European Transport