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Better Cities & Better Links needed for a greener Scotland

Published 30 April 2020 by Transform Scotland

We have today submitted our views to the Scottish Government in response to its consultation on the new National Planning Framework (NPF4). In this letter, we set out two principal focuses for the government to pursue: Better Cities & Better Links.

Better Cities

To address the low levels of walking and cycling and high levels of congestion in Scottish Cities we propose:

  • The development of segregated cycle lanes in the busier routes into towns and cities in order to allow safe cycling by commuters, shoppers and school children.
  • A greater role for buses as the solution to congestion. Scotland makes buses, providing the world with leading technology and clean, green buses. It is also home to the headquarters of global bus operators and is well placed to demonstrate to the world how bus can be part of the solution.
  • The funding of public transport improvements to allow commuters viable alternatives to car travel.
    Projects that would help in this respect could include the extensions of the Glasgow and Edinburgh
    light rail networks and to reintroduce light rail in Aberdeen and Dundee.

Better Links

  • The ongoing development of the National Cycle Network to link our major cities.
  • A major upgrade to the inter-city rail service between Scotland’s cities. Significant reductions in journey times could be achieved by the provision of dual-track at selected locations and the reinstatement of a direct link between Inverkeithing and Perth by way of Kinross.
  • Enhanced freight movement throughout Scotland and reduce the volume of HGVs on roads and, as consequences, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on busier roads.

Transform’s director Colin Howden said:

“The aim of these combined proposals is the development of a greener Scotland with less traffic on our roads, both passenger and freight, as a result of modal shifts from car to public transport and walking/cycling, and more freight moving long distances by rail.

“This will not only deliver benefits in terms of a healthier, more active, and fitter population but will also bring about more people-friendly cities with enhanced surroundings and more people on the move by active means rather than by private car.”

Alongside our overarching comments, we have submitted four National Development proposals: