Government and Council transport policies

April 2023

Highland Council updates Transport Strategy

Craig Baxter, Sustainable Transport Team Leader for Highland Council, has emailed

The Highland Council is updating its Local Transport Strategy, which sets out how it will manage and modernise the transport network across the region in the coming years.  The Case for Change is the first stage in this process and is about gathering evidence; this consultation seeks your views on it.  The feedback we receive now will be used to help develop a draft of the updated Local Transport Strategy, which will then itself go out for consultation later in the year.  The survey questionnaire seeks your views on the key findings from the report.  Read the full Case for Change Report and complete the questionnaire.

This consultation is open for 8 weeks, closing on Monday 29th May. Please feel free to share this email with your networks.

Craig Baxter | Sustainable Transport Team Leader | Highland Council | Glenurquhart Road Inverness IV3 5NX.

Julian Paren has written an article (below) about the consultation inviting contributions to a TBI response

Living without a car in the Highlands

Highland Council Consultation on Local Transport Case for Change

Could you manage without a car on the Black Isle?  Or if a car is not an option for you, what could make getting around easier? It must be true that the non-car user could be much better served in the Black Isle and beyond. Have you a strong view on how well public transport caters for those of us on the Black Isle who wish to travel, but would like to do so at a low environmental and financial cost?  If so, now is the time to get your voice heard.

Highland Council is asking for feedback on a new consultation document entitled Local Transport Strategy Case for Change.  Comments on the Plan have to be submitted before May 29.  The document covers a wide range of issues from potholes to raised kerbs, commuting times by bus, train and private car, the withdrawal of evening bus services, the health benefits of cycling, the need for safer cycling, the reliability of the buses and their timetables, parking issues, and so on.  If you can think of a topic that has a broad transport connection, there will be sections in the report for study and for commenting on. In my mind there are also glaring omissions, such as ensuring bus and rail timetables complement each other.

The Local Transport Strategy document is a mine of information that will give insights into how the planners are now thinking about the future.  So there has never been a better time to help shape Highland Council Policy on transport issues.

Download the Case for Change Report and view (and if you wish) complete the questionnaire.

The full report is too long at 109 pages, and demands an unrealistic amount of time to read. The summaries are good and can alert you to the sections in the full report that interest you most. There is an on-line form for responding to the consultation.

The energy cost of transport and its carbon footprint are major issues in the Government Policy to meet Net Zero. This underlines why this topic is important for Transition Black Isle.  I hope TBI can respond to the Consultation in a way that reflects the views of a good number of our supporters.   To this end I ask interested people to inform me of their interest and download the document,  Then I propose to run a Zoom Meeting in mid-May to which you will be invited to share your views, which after discussion between us, will be used to write a composite response from Transition Black Isle.  

So please let me know if you download the Consultation Document and wish to participate in a discussion on it, and then help frame Transition Black Isle’s response.

Julian Paren.

There was no response to Julian's appeal for contribution to the consultation, which closed on 29 May.

Julian made a personal rather than an agreed TBI submission to the consultation.


January 2022

SG Route Map for reducing car use

The Scottish Government has published a document outlining its policy of reducing car use by 20% by 2030, and begun a public consultation on it which runs until 6 April.

The Route Map was introduced by Transport Minister Graeme Dey, addressing a hybrid meeting of the Scottish Parliament on 13 January 2022.  His statement was notable for the lack of clarity and concision one has unfortunately come to expect from government policy announcements, and its lack of specific proposals was noted by other MSPs in subsequent questioning.

The core of the policy lies in the list of over 30 'interventions' listed in section 3 of the route map, but their multitude and complexity - not to mention the quirky numbering system - do not inspire much confidence that the policy is likely to succeed.

From Transport Scotland

Reducing car use for a healthier, fairer and greener Scotland

The Scottish Government has published its route map outlining steps needed to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030.

The world-leading target was set out in the Climate Change Plan Update (CCPu), published in December 2020.

The route map sets out a range of sustainable travel behaviours grouped into four categories:

  • travel less: use online options where appropriate
  • stay local: chose a more local destination to meet your needs
  • switch mode: to walk, wheel, cycle, or use public transport where possible
  • combine a journey: where the other options are not feasible

Additionally, research will be commissioned to explore equitable options for demand management to discourage car use, to enable the development of a new Framework for Car Demand Management by 2025.

The route map has been developed by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).


September 2021

Jet zero: UK Government strategy for net zero aviation

NOTE  that the entire policy is based on the idea that there is no need for the government to require or encourage any reduction in flying.

Our vision is for the aviation sector to reach net zero aviation, or jet zero, by 2050.

A consultation ran from  14 July  to  8 September 2021

The consultation set out our proposed approach and principles to reach net zero aviation by 2050.

Our ambition is to:

  • decarbonise aviation in a way that preserves the benefits of air travel
  • maximise the opportunities that decarbonisation can bring

We are proposing a suite of policies to support industry to reduce and, where possible, eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. These policies span 5 different measures that aim to:

  • improve the efficiency of our aviation system
  • accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels
  • support the development of zero emission flight
  • ensure we use markets to drive down emissions in the most cost-effective way
  • influence the behaviour of consumers

Read the consultation and policy document


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