Scottish transport operator, Nestrans, has gained Ministerial approval of the North East’s new Regional Transport Strategy (RTS).
The strategy will shape the area’s transport policies and actions for the next 20 years.
At the November meeting of the Nestrans Board this week, members heard that Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey has endorsed the strategy.
Board members unanimously agreed to formally adopt the Strategy, allowing for delivery plans to be agreed at a future meeting for work following the six key priorities:
- Improved journey efficiencies to enhance connectivity
- Zero fatalities on the road network
- Air quality that is cleaner than World Health Organisation standards for emissions from transport
- Significantly reduced carbon emissions from transport to support net-zero by 2045
- Accessibility for all
- A step change in public transport and active travel enabling a 50:50 mode split between car driver and sustainable modes.
Nestrans has spent the last two years working with its board members, partners, stakeholders, and the public to produce the new strategy. The strategy benefits from a compelling evidence base provided by the Strategic Transport Appraisal, which was funded by the Aberdeen City Region Deal. The strategy is also backed by a Strategic Environmental Assessment and Equalities Assessments. Informed by this engagement, assessment of options, and looking at best practice from elsewhere, it gives a comprehensively shared strategic vision for the future of travel in the North East.
Nestrans Chair, Councillor Sandra Macdonald said, “Thank you to everyone who contributed to the North East’s transport strategy which will deliver a range of projects over the next 20 years. This is a huge achievement particularly as it was developed during the pandemic which has seen a real shift in people’s travel demands and behaviours. While it is difficult to predict how these will change again, I am confident that the strategy addresses the long-term challenges we face as a city-region in a wider geographical context.
“The Nestrans Board formally adopted the Strategy on Transport Day at COP26, when the world came together to discuss what has to be done to decarbonise the transport sector. Our 2040 strategy sets out how we will work with partners to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and achieve modal shift away from car usage to active and sustainable travel.
“An extraordinary amount of work has been achieved since we adopted our last Regional Transport Strategy in 2008. This new strategy gives a clear focus on our priorities for travel, with an understanding and flexibility to adapt to what we know will be changing demands and environments. I look forward to the roll-out of the new strategy over the next 20 years.”