The first annual Delivery Plan for Scotland’s National Transport Strategy has been published, setting out actions to improve transport for the future and address the impacts of COVID-19.

The Strategy outlines four priorities for its transport system: that it reduces inequalities; takes climate action; helps deliver inclusive economic growth; and improves health and wellbeing.

The first NTS2 Delivery Plan sets out the broad actions the Scottish Government is taking to deliver on its vision and priorities to end-March 2022, taking account of the impact of COVID-19.

It will publish annual Delivery Plans from 2022 onwards.

To ensure accountability on progress, it has committed to publishing a monitoring and evaluation report covering the period to end-March 2022, followed by annual monitoring and evaluation reports from March 2022, as well as reporting three-yearly, to Parliament, as required by the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.

This Delivery Plan contains the actions being carried out by the Scottish Government to address each of those priorities while supporting a green recovery from the global pandemic; including a new action to encourage people back on to public transport post-COVID 19 when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Other actions set out are to extend free bus travel to young people aged under 19; support active travel and other sustainable options including support for people working from home; and support interventions to reduce car miles by 20% by 2030, as set out in the Climate Change Plan Update published this week.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson (pictured) says: “The months since we published our National Transport Strategy have been challenging as we respond to an unprecedented public health emergency, but our commitment to protect our climate and improve lives is unwavering.

“We have focused the first Delivery Plan on addressing the impacts of COVID-19 as a core component of taking forward our longer term strategy.  

“This Delivery Plan brings together for the first time the actions across Scottish Government to support delivery of the Strategy to help to realise our vision for transport and support the transformation to more sustainable options.

“These actions reinforce our commitment to sustainable travel and investment in the right places. We continue to promote walking, wheeling and cycling, and shared transport options over private car use. And investment is at the core of our second Strategic Transport Projects Review, phase 1 of which will report in earl 2021, setting out our transport investment plans for the next few years. 

“Our actions are consistent with the Climate Change Plan Update published this week, which reflects the world’s most ambitious framework of climate targets.

“I look forward to continuing our work with partners to address transport emissions and support thriving communities as part of our place-based investment programme.”

CEO of Paths for All, Ian Findlay said: “I welcome the publication of the NTS Delivery Plan. The key challenge for the Delivery Plan is to implement the vision and high-level outcomes in the NTS. I believe the commitment to the sustainable travel hierarchy is of fundamental importance in this regard. 

“I look forward to working with other members of the NTS Delivery Board, Transport Scotland and key stakeholders to deliver the much needed transformation in Scotland’s transportation. I am particularly looking forward to helping ensure our transport system improves the health and wellbeing of everyone and our environment.”

Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Stirling University, Professor Iain Docherty said: “The Strategy published in February acknowledged imperatives such as the climate emergency, and explained in clear terms how transport investment is about achieving  economic, environmental and societal objectives. We could not have anticipated then the impact of COVID-19 on our society and our economy.

“This Delivery Plan focusses on the cross-Government actions needed to help deliver the Strategy. It highlights the importance of a green recovery and tackling the inequalities exacerbated by COVID, and demonstrates the start of the transformation we need to see in how we all interact with transport.” 

Download the NTS document here: https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/48839/nts-delivery-plan-2020-2022.pdf