Transport Scotland Unveils Comprehensive Plan for Integrated and Sustainable Transport

Posted on 24 January 2022

Transport Scotland has recently revealed an ambitious vision for the development of an integrated and sustainable transport network across Scotland's major city regions. This comprehensive plan, known as the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2), encompasses 45 recommendations aimed at enhancing transportation sustainability while empowering residents to make informed choices about their travel preferences.

Among the prominent initiatives outlined in the STPR2 is the multi-billion pound Clyde Metro project, which aims to significantly improve connectivity by establishing a transportation link between Glasgow and its surrounding areas, including East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire. While the specific design of the Clyde Metro is yet to be finalised, various options are being considered, such as bus rapid transit, tram systems, light rail, and metro rail. Whichever option is chosen, it will seamlessly integrate with the existing bus and heavy rail networks in the region, ensuring a cohesive and efficient transportation system.


Another key proposal put forward by the STPR2 is the development of an Edinburgh Mass Transit system. This system seeks to integrate bus rapid transit and trams with the current bus, tram, and heavy rail networks in Edinburgh. To explore the feasibility of this scheme, the City of Edinburgh Council is leading a comprehensive study. The initial focus of this study will be on enhancing mass transit connectivity from Granton in the northern part of the city, through the central area, and extending to the southern and eastern extremities.

The STPR2 recommends the implementation of a bus-based Rapid Transit system in Aberdeen. This system aims to provide more efficient and competitive public transportation services within and around the Aberdeen City region. By focusing on key corridors of demand and addressing congestion issues that impact current bus services, the Rapid Transit system intends to offer a reliable and attractive alternative for residents and commuters.

In addition to these major projects, the STPR2 outlines a wide range of recommendations designed to drive sustainable transport investments in the future. These recommendations include supporting rural and island communities through the renewal of ferry services, improving port infrastructure, and enhancing connections from ferry terminals. The plan also emphasises the need to decarbonize public transport by transitioning to zero-emission vehicles, promoting active modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, and wheeling, developing a net-zero freight and logistics network, and expanding the implementation of 20mph zones to enhance safety.

Other proposals within the STPR2 involve reallocating road space away from private cars and towards active travel modes, creating high-quality urban environments that prioritise sustainable transportation, establishing guidance and frameworks for the development of "mobility hubs" that offer various connected transport modes and enhanced facilities, investing in pilot schemes for demand-responsive transport, improving facilities at major rail stations to enhance efficiency and encourage active travel solutions, delivering a rail decarbonisation program, and enhancing rest and welfare facilities for hauliers.

Scotland's cabinet secretary for net zero, energy, and transport, Michael Matheson, emphasizes the critical importance of investment decisions for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He expresses the government's commitment to reducing car usage and achieving a fair and equitable transition to a net-zero future. Public input during the consultation period is strongly encouraged to ensure that the sustainable transport system addresses climate goals, inequality, economic growth, and overall well-being.

Glasgow City Council leader and Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet chair, Susan Aitken, applauds the inclusion of the Clyde Metro project in the STPR2, recognising its potential to transform the transportation landscape in the region. She highlights the significant benefits that the Clyde Metro can bring, such as reducing social and economic inequalities, driving economic growth, connecting underserved communities, and encouraging a shift from private car usage to public transportation. Aitken emphasises the need for Glasgow to catch up with other international cities that have successfully implemented modern rapid transit systems, ensuring that Glasgow remains a competitive and attractive city for residents and visitors alike.

Alex Hynes, the managing director of Scotland's Railway, welcomes the STPR2's recognition of the crucial role that rail plays in achieving sustainable transportation and net-zero goals. He highlights the progress already made in reducing carbon emissions within the rail sector and expresses optimism about the potential for increased rail usage in the future, despite the financial challenges that lie ahead.

The Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2) presents a comprehensive and forward-thinking plan to create an integrated, sustainable, and efficient transport network in Scotland. By addressing the diverse needs of different regions, the STPR2 supports the nation's commitment to a greener future while prioritising the well-being of its residents. Through significant investments in various transportation modes and infrastructure, Scotland aims to develop a modern and accessible transport system that contributes to the overall prosperity and sustainability of the country.


Share this article