Turning Policy into Projects ? Scotland?s Strategic Transport Review ? ?Turning the Talk into the Walk?

Turning Policy into Projects ? Scotland?s Strategic Transport Review ? ?Turning the Talk into the Walk?


A Clark, Transport Scotland, UK; S Turnbull, Jacobs Consultancy, UK; L Kenney, M Calvert, SIAS Limited, UK


This paper examines the methodologies used in this multimodal review to identify, appraise and prioritise interventions, worth approximately £3bn, to deliver Scottish Government policy on its strategic transport network between 2012 and 2022.


The establishment of Transport Scotland, in 2006, as the delivery agency of the Scottish Government, the devolution of rail powers to Scotland and the publication of the National Transport Strategy, has provided an exciting opportunity and framework for planning longer term strategic transport investment in Scotland?s transport network.

The National Transport Strategy outlines the vision for Scotland?s transport network and the context for transport policy over the next 20 years. Taking into consideration the Scottish Government?s purpose of sustainable economic growth and its Strategic Objectives of wealthier and fairer, healthier, safer and stronger, smarter and greener, the National Transport Strategy identifies 3 Key Strategic Outcomes:

- Improve journey times and connections; to tackle congestion and the lack of integration and connections in transport;
- Reduce emissions; to tackle the issues of climate change, air quality and health improvement; and
- Improve quality, accessibility and affordability, to give people a choice of public transport, where availability means better quality transport services and value for money or an alternative to the car.

The Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) is a multimodal review to identify, appraise and prioritise interventions required on the national strategic transport network between 2012 and 2022.

The focus of the STPR is on undertaking an evidence based appraisal using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timed) objectives and considering all modes of transport.

The Review aims to identify an indicative investment programme worth approximately £3bn that will make a significant contribution towards delivering Government policy. The final report is due in the summer of 2008 which will allow the results and outcomes of the Review to be covered in the paper.

This paper examines the methodologies used in the STPR. The key findings will focus on the resolution of competing priorities to provide investment decision makers with a solid, evidence based platform to enable their policies to be implemented effectively within finite funding streams. The following tasks and the challenges therein will be covered:

- Defining the national strategic transport network. This process has identified 20 strategic transport corridors as well as the urban networks of the 4 largest cities and 2 strategic transport where a number of the corridors meet;
- Establishing a robust evidence base, to assess the existing and forecast the future performance of the network. In particular identifying relevant performance indicators;
- Identifying clear policy expectations and objectives from the high level policy instruments mentioned above;
- Resolving policy tensions ? such as the issue of climate change;
- Stakeholder engagement throughout the process;
- Generating a wide range of possible interventions, considering both historic aspirations and innovative solutions in light of a stated investment hierarchy of firstly maintaining and safely operating existing assets, secondly making better use of existing assets (which may include technology based and ?soft measures? in addition to engineering solutions) and thirdly targeted infrastructure improvements.
- Developing an appropriate and auditable process for initial sifting of interventions to identify those to be taken forward for detailed appraisal;
- Developing and implementing an innovative appraisal process consistent with the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (objective led transport appraisal looking across the five high level criteria of environment, economy, safety, integration, accessibility and social inclusion) capable of dealing with a wide range of multi-modal strategic interventions within a restricted timescale; and
- Developing and applying a robust methodology for prioritising interventions to be included in the indicative investment programme.

The paper will conclude by considering lessons learned for other national/regional studies and how the findings of the Review can best be taken forward, in particular facing the challenge of funding, delivery and maintaining focus.


Association for European Transport