The Policy Group of the CITL(UK) Scottish Region welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Executive's Draft Guidance on Regional Transport Strategies. Creation of the Regional Transport Partnerships is supported and the proposals in the Draft are largely agreed. There may however be a need for some fine tuning.
Structure of the Partnerships
While there is no ideal composition of the Partnerships, it is surprising to see Stirling linked to Perth and Tayside. This area has more significant links to both the Edinburgh and Glasgow city regions both for passenger and freight purposes and it is felt that it would more appropriately be accommodated within the South East RTP.
It is appropriate that freight is mentioned in the document but more specific guidance may be required to ensure that the importance of freight and the access it requires to producers and markets is recognised in the Regional Transport Strategies. Greater emphasis may be required concerning the significance of the maritime mode, particularly with respect to freight, and also to air in the context of island communities and links beyond Scotland.
Land Use & Transport Planning
The connection made between land use and transport planning is welcomed. Because of this, the frequency of RTP reviews may be more appropriately linked to the 5 yearly revision to Structure Plans rather than to the electoral cycle. Interaction between RTPs and Structure Plans will be of strategic importance and it is considered that this should be the driver for revision.
Transfer of Powers
The processes for the transfer of powers between the various bodies outlined in paragraphs 82-85 are supported. However, it is felt that the issue of the efficient use of scarce qualified resources needs to be closely watched and arbitration procedures may be required to resolve any issues where disputes about strategy or powers arise between, say councils and RTPs. This, it is felt will be particularly relevant in the area of co-operation between RTPs.
The sharing of ideas between Health Boards and Councils/RTPs is welcomed. It may also be appropriate to include similar requirements with respect to new or altered large educational establishments even where such issues may be considered under the Planning regulations.
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