The Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2) is now available. Its stated aim is to “help deliver the vision, priorities and outcomes that are set out in the second National Transport Strategy”. It follows on from the first Strategic Transport Projects Review which was published in 2008.
Published on 8 December 2022, the Review identifies and addresses the challenges facing Scotland’s transport networks and makes recommendations as to how best to address these challenges over the next two decades.
The STPR2’s recommendations seek to adapt to the changes in transport use habits which have become apparent as a result of (i) the COVID pandemic, (ii) increased rates of flexible working, and (iii) technological advancements which have opened up low-carbon transport options.
Assessing the entire breadth of Scotland’s transport modes (including walking, wheeling, cycling, bus, ferry, rail and the trunk road network), the review concludes with 45 different recommendations for investment in Scotland’s transport systems between 2022-2042. As part of the Scottish Government’s National Transport Strategy (NTS2), these recommendations will inform the transport investment decisions of the Scottish Ministers going forward.
The goals of these recommendations are several-fold:
- Encourage modal shift in the transport decisions of individuals and businesses by increasing the number of affordable and accessible options available.
- Improve health and wellbeing by prioritising walking, wheeling and cycling and using transport infrastructure to foster communities as places.
- Increase the safety and resilience of the transport system by maintaining and safely operating our existing assets and meeting casualty reduction targets.
- Contribute towards Scotland’s Net Zero emission targets by reducing the need to travel unsustainably through support for less carbon-intensive options.
- Support sustainable economic growth by making better use of existing capacity, and promoting an integrated transport system.
Each recommendation sets out how it will contribute to these goals and is based on evidenced conclusions. The approach to setting out what action is to be taken reflects the Sustainable Investment Hierarchy from NTS2:
- reducing the need to travel unsustainably, then
- maintaining and safely operating existing assets, then
- making better use of existing capacity, and finally
- targeted infrastructure improvements.
STPR2 is not a funded plan. It is envisaged that the recommendations in STPR2 will continue to be developed, with more detailed business cases being produced. This process may lead all or some of these recommendations to become government commitments, which will result in them receiving funding and a delivery programme.
The STRP2 follows the Scottish Government’s approach of using the Sustainable Investment Hierarchy to guide its spending decisions. We highlighted this approach in a Law-Now exploring the governments property asset strategy in the public sector.
Article co-authored by Eleanor Lane, Ailsa Ritchie and Jason Cowan