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2007 Scottish Policy Consultation

The views below are those of members of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport(UK) Scottish Policy Group who have contributed to the discussion on 2007 Scottish Policy Consultation.

1. Introduction
CILT(UK) Scottish Region welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of transport policy for the coming parliamentary term and beyond. The Institute is conscious that transport policy does not stand alone and must be related to other aspirations of policy makers and of the wider population. In particular, transport policy must go hand in hand with land use strategies and with the access requirements of businesses to their markets and suppliers and of people to residential, employment, leisure, retail and public facilities both within Scotland and internationally.

We are concerned that the use of PFI/PPP financing may be obscuring the total long term costs to the taxpayer and may be restricting the ability to respond to changes over the project lifespan. We have supported the setting up of the Transport Agency and the RTPs. However, there must be a clear definition of the responsibilities carried by the Agency, the RTPS and LAs and definitive funding arrangements for the delivery of these responsibilities. The sections below give a list of specific points, some posed as questions relating to each of the topic areas.

2. Areas where policy has been effective.
- The development of the Regional Transport Partnerships, but funding may be better managed by direct grant rather than via LAs.
- The creation of the Transport Agency but appropriate expertise needs to be acquired.
- The development of rail schemes but there is a need to ensure that they deliver value for money and that they are not driven by political popularity.
- Taking responsibility for rail infrastructure and franchising, including the extension of the SQUIRE criteria for quality.
- The Air Development Fund.
- Freight Facility Grants which must be applicable to all modes.
- Rural bus grants.
- Concession travel but their must be an assurance that value for money is achieved.
- Park and Ride but more could be achieved.
- Reduction in road accidents.
- Traveline.

3. Policy areas for improvement.
- Capital schemes do not always seem to be given the necessary revenue support over the long run. There is a need to consider whole life cost.
- Transport Agency and RTPs to concentrate on delivery.
- Related to the above is the issue of safety and amenity maintenance e.g. road markings, sight lines for road signs and lighting and many more items.
- Do not be carried away by "Headline" or popular projects.
- Is privatisation of road maintenance value for money?
- Is the tendering process backed up by sufficient in-house intelligent buying expertise.
- Can Cal-Mac be retained as a single public entity by, for example, using the Danish military solution?
- Does PFI/ PPP actually transfer risk from the public sector and does this have an impact on the public balance sheet?
- Develop the SQUIRE approach to quality standards to cover other public tendered services, e.g. bus provision.
- Consider total origin to destination movement needs for both passenger and freight.
- Access and interchange for public transport.
- Security on public transport and related car parks.
- Does the bus concession scheme address the greatest areas of social need?
- Should responsibility for roads or bus tendering pass to RTPs?

4. Specific priorities.
- High level definition of internal Scottish and international movement/transport needs.
- Integration of ticketing/inter-availability.
- Public transport connectivity between modes.
- Greater financial transparency from bus operators where they are tendering for their own withdrawn services.
- Development of STAG to support/reject land use as well as transport proposals and clear justification where STAG criteria are not used.

5. Long term issues.
- Vehicle emissions.
- Alternative fuels.
- Environmental impact of transport and related fiscal incentives.
- Global warming and infrastructure resilience.
- High speed rail.
- Rail gauge clearance and permitted train length.
- Consistent approach to road pricing.
- Consistency on parking policy.
- A level playing field in relation to practices in European countries.

6. Specific proposals.
- Deep water container port capacity e.g. Hunterston/Scapa Flow and supporting road/rail infrastructure.
- Third Forth crossing.
- High speed Edinburgh to Glasgow rail service.

7. Sustainable development.
- Cycling and walking routes and the link to health.
- Better links between transport and land use planning.
- Larger lorries - implications for numbers and for capital and maintenance cost of roads.
- Renewable fuel sources.

8. Cost reduction and resource allocation.
- Borrowing instead of PFI and an appraisal of whole life cost to the taxpayer since this has long term implications for both businesses and individuals.
- Examination of the cost drivers in areas of expenditure e.g. financing, labour, materials.
- Can economies of scale be achieved by RTPs or LAs selling services to other similar bodies (as Strathclyde PTE has done in the past).
- In-house staff rather than consultants for long term work.
- LAs sharing provision of specialist services.
- Use of Transport Agency as informed buyer and recruiter for specialist staff/services in LAs and RTPs.

 

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