Help shape Scotland’s transport priorities for 20 years
Over the next five weeks we have a crucial opportunity to shape the Scottish Government’s major transport projects for the next 20 years. A new online survey seeks the public’s views on investment in future transport networks across Scotland.
This process will be a key test of the Government’s resolve to address the climate emergency and support a significant increase in cycling and walking. This article is a guide to help you make your voice heard so that collectively we can make the most of this opportunity.
A massive undertaking
Over the past decade Transport Scotland has spent billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money on major transport projects like the A9 dualling, constructing the Queensferry Bridge, and electrification of railways.
These are massive undertakings and were decided on through a process called the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) – a huge spending review for transport projects in Scotland. STPR focussed on connecting cities and regions hence the road, bridge and intercity rail projects of recent years.
But with the Scottish Government declaring a climate emergency, and a growing acceptance of the need to invest in sustainable forms of travel, the next projects review will have to meet these new Government priorities.
Transport Scotland and its consultants are now working on STPR2, starting with a national review of the strategic problems with transport and talking to people about potential solutions.
The draft National Transport Strategy provides an insight into current Government thinking. New priorities in the strategy include promoting equality, improving health and wellbeing, and taking climate action. Government has indicated that these priorities will drive the STRP2 process – one of the aims being to ‘create better connectivity with sustainable, smart and cleaner transport options’.
A test of resolve
STPR2 is a real test of Government’s resolve in tackling the Climate Emergency by investing in sustainable transport instead of more trunk roads.
This week Transport Scotland launched an online survey seeking the opinions of people to help inform STPR2 development. It is now live and closes on the 10th January 2020.
At Cycling UK, we are encouraging as many people as possible to respond to the online consultation. It gives you the opportunity to say how satisfied you are with transport networks in your area of Scotland, including the cycle network, , and suggest options for making things better. Completing the survey is important in shaping Scotland’s transport investments for the future.
Our guide to completing the STPR2 online survey
Indicate which region your comments relate to, or whether it’s the whole of Scotland. Note – you can provide comments on more than one region but you must complete them one at a time.
The survey allows you to indicate your level of satisfaction about:
- The walking and wheeling network
- The cycling network
- The bus network
- The rail network
- The road network
- Wider transport issues
- Travel to and between the Scottish mainland and islands
We recommend that in thinking about your responses you:
- Be honest – if it’s poor and frustrating then say so. You may have got used to a poor network, so think about how far the network is from ideal.
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes – e.g. how would it be for a novice to cycle, or a partially sighted person to use the walking network?
- Think big – i.e. consider the larger regional network not just your immediate neighbourhood or public transport service.
- Think sustainable – indicating less satisfaction with the current state of sustainable travel infrastructure and options will help Government see this is an area for improvement. E.g. there’s not currently enough EV charging points, and in many areas our bus services are too few.
You can report up to three major transport problems. We recommend you include issues that can be solved through Government investment, for example:
- Lack of safe space on the roads for cycling.
- Lack of space on trains or buses to carry bicycles, and integration of bikes with public transport.
- Poorly linked and signed cycle networks on quiet roads in towns and cities.
- Too much of the National Cycle Network (NCN) is on the road or has a poor surface.
- Insufficient safe and secure cycle parking at transport hubs and in public spaces.
The last question is the most important. This provides five spaces to write transport options you would like to see considered in the STPR2 process. What would make transport better for you and your loved ones? We recommend that, again, you think big and strategically – what is needed in your town or the whole region based on your experience? For example:
- Separated cycle lanes along all key arterial routes into towns and cities
- A wide, well connected, and clearly signed cycle network along quiet roads for all towns and cities.
- Installation of sufficient, covered and secure bike parking at all suburban stations in the Glasgow region, with capacity as a proportion of station users.
- A public bike share scheme for every city and major town in Scotland, which can be used by a Scotland-wide smart ticketing system.
- A new coastal or rural cycle route between X and Y [complete for your area]
- Bus services on all major Scottish Islands to introduce bike buses – buses with space to carry bikes.
- More National Cycle Network routes to be created off road with a good surface.
- A national zero-interest loan system to help people buy a bike or bike storage.
- No-parking zones around all schools to encourage children to cycle to school safely.
- Feel free to adapt or include any of the above in your answers or use your own ideas. But please send us your answers to this question – see below.
Send us your answers
We will also be responding to the Government as Cycling UK, to say what projects are needed in the STPR process. It would help us if you can also copy your answers to the last question about options and send them to us.
We can then reinforce your ideas in our response and make sure Government takes notice. Please copy your 5 options before you complete the survey and send to email@example.com and tell us which region these relate to.