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June Newsletter — Campaigns Update — NPF4

Published 16 June 2020 by Transform Scotland

In May, Transform Scotland published four ‘National Development’ proposals and a covering letter in response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the new National Planning Framework (NPF4).

Since then, publication of NPF4 has been delayed from this September until autumn 2021. Given the previous link in the timelines of NPF4 and the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2), we have been left wondering whether this too will be delayed into next year. Given the importance of these two processes to sustainable transport in Scotland, we will be monitoring news on this closely.

In our covering 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.

We also submitted these four National Development Proposals:

  1. ‘National Inter-City Rail Network‘. 
  2. ‘Light Rail Networks in Scotland’s Major Cities’.
  3. ‘National Walking and Cycling Infrastructure‘, jointly with Ramblers Scotland and Cycling UK Scotland.
  4. National Low-Carbon Freight Network‘, jointly with the Rail Freight Group.