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Scotland's National Transport Strategy


Chapter 4: Reduced Emissions

Summary Message

124. Our vision demonstrates that we want a transport system that respects Scotland's environment and contributes to health improvement. Delivering carbon savings is not the only environmental and health issue for Scotland's National Transport Strategy to consider, but we do believe it is the most important one to get right.

125. A range of transport measures have already been identified to counteract the growing trend in transport emissions and these are being taken forward across the EU, UK and Scotland. The Scottish Government, however, wants and needs to do more.

126. This chapter describes the measures that are already in place and presents the carbon savings these policies are expected to generate. It then sets out the additional measures and approach we will adopt to deliver further carbon savings.


127. The key challenge for transport is to break the link between economic growth, increased traffic and increased emissions. This challenge has been met in other sectors and now needs to be addressed in the transport sector.

128. Delivering carbon savings is a central feature of Scotland's National Transport Strategy. Our vision outlines our desire to increase the proportion of short journeys made on foot and on bicycles which has the effect of reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, reducing congestion, and contributing to the achievement of a healthier Scotland.

129. The UK and Scottish Climate Change Programmes already identify a number of policies (reserved and devolved) that are being taken forward across the UK to reduce carbon emissions. This includes a number of existing transport measures that were introduced as part of the 2000 UK Climate Change Programme and new measures introduced in the revised Programme.

130. These existing transport measures are expected to generate annual savings of 500 kilo tonnes of carbon by 2010 (see figure 8) and greater reductions thereafter. 60 These existing measures are not expected to reduce the overall level of emissions from transport but rather to offset the growth in transport emissions that is expected to occur between 2004 and 2010.

131. In addition to this, we are also considering a number of new complementary measures and enhancement of existing measures to generate further carbon savings. Further work will be required to determine the final carbon savings contributions from these policies and we intend to complete this work following the launch of the strategy and once spending plans have been agreed.

132. The outcome we want to achieve is to reduce emissions as a means of protecting our environment and improving health.

133. The broader benefits that will accrue from this will include protecting our environment, improved health, improved air quality, reduced noise and a lower number of accidents.

134. To measure progress against this outcome we will report on a range of monitoring indicators in reviews of the Strategy. These indicators will include:

  • carbon emissions from the transport sector;
  • tonnes of carbon saved; and
  • average distance walked and cycled per person per year.

You told us… there was an insufficient quantitative analysis to inform our Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) Environmental Report. We recognise that our data needs enhanced.

Evidence Base: Research 61 commissioned for the National Transport Strategy reviewed the transport measures that are most likely to satisfy economic development objectives, without unsustainable increases in transport activity and emissions. Policies are ranked in terms of their impact (high and medium) relative to each other and are grouped according to whether the timetable for their implementation is short (0-3 years i.e. a relatively quick hit), mid-term (3-10 years) or long-term (over 10 years). This work has informed policy choices for the National Transport Strategy, many of which are described in further detail later.

135. In addition to the commitment given above, we also intend to present a 'carbon balance sheet' for transport in future reviews of the NTS. This will present the impact of all Scottish transport policies and projects that are expected to have a significant impact on carbon, whether positive or negative. This recognises the need to do more than simply focus on the positive contribution transport will be making without showing how this relates to the negative impact of other Scottish transport policies and projects. Our aim will be to show that the Scottish Government - through its own actions - is continually reducing the overall impact of Scottish transport measures.

136. A significant amount of additional analysis and modelling is required to present such a balance sheet but this will provide the tools required to mainstream carbon considerations into all transport policies and projects and to closely monitor and evaluate the overall impact of Scottish transport measures on carbon. It will also give us the evidence required to identify the most effective policies and to continually build on policies presented in this Chapter.

Delivering reduced emissions - What we will do

137. Our commitments in this Chapter are split into two main areas. Firstly we highlight those existing policies (reserved and devolved) which we will continue to support. Secondly we highlight policies which are either new policies or existing policies to which we intend to give enhanced support to deliver further carbon savings.

Existing policies which we intend to continue to support

138. Figure 8 presents the carbon savings that are expected in Scotland as a result of the transport policies introduced as part of the 2000 UK Climate Change Programme and the new measures introduced in the recently revised UKCCP (2006). The majority of these measures are reserved, although many of the Wider Transport Measures (which in Scotland are set out in the White Paper, Scotland's Transport Future, 2004) are devolved. It has been assumed that the Scottish policy impact will be roughly proportional to the Scottish share of the UK population (8%).

139. Some of these policies have been in place for some time (eg EU Voluntary Agreement, Company Car Tax, wider Transport Measures including sustainable distribution, SMART measures and land-use planning) and are already delivering significant carbon savings in Scotland, as detailed above. Two additional transport measures - the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Scheme ( RTFO) and future EU level voluntary agreement with Car Manufacturers - are included as part of the revised UK and Scottish Climate Change Programmes (2006). All of these policies are expected to generate further carbon savings over the time period covered by the NTS. We intend to continue to support these existing transport policies.

Figure 8: Reserved and Devolved Existing Transport Policies - Scotland Carbon Impacts


Reserved or Devolved?

Annual carbon savings (KtC) in 2010

In UKCCP 2000

Voluntary Agreement Package (company car, vehicle excise duty, voluntary agreements)



Fuel Duty Escalator (1993-1999)



Wider Transport Measures (including sustainable distribution) 64



New in UKCCP/ SCCP 2006

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Scheme ( RTFO)



Future EU level voluntary agreement with car manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars





Enhancements of existing policies and new policies which we intend to support to generate further carbon savings

140. We want to go further than we currently do. We want to provide further support for a range of existing policies and to support new policies to deliver further carbon savings. The key policies which we intend to support are outlined below:

Work with UK Government to deliver the biofuels target by 2010 and beyond

141. The Scottish Government already works closely with the UK Government in meeting the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Sheme of 5% biofuel in use by 2010 and appropriate targets beyond this. We recognise, however, that there are genuine concerns about the production of biofuels in relation to biodiversity and sustainable rural development. We will therefore work with DfT, and other government departments, as it develops its carbon and environmental assurance schemes. We will also work with DfT on mechanisms to establish carbon saving targets as part of the RTFO Scheme, once systems have been established. This is likely to be a complex process which will involve the measurement, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions from UK and international production.

142. Of course biofuels are only one alternative source of future transport fuels and others may be on the horizon. Electric vehicles are already available and their evolution is taking major leaps forward, as are dual-fuel vehicles, and hydrogen cell buses are already on trial in London. The UK Energy Review also signalled the Transport Innovation Strategy, in close collaboration with the National Institute of Energy Technologies, to explore new prospects such as second generation biofuels and hydrogen and the Executive will seek to work with DfT in this regard.

143. The Scottish Government will continue to take a keen interest in Scottish, UK and international development in the field of hydrogen cells for transport and will develop and promote a Scottish infrastructure as and when technology and economies mature.

144. We will continue to work with DfT, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and other key stakeholders in the field of powering future vehicles. We will also work with our key stakeholders in Scotland to develop and promote the trials of alternative fuel vehicles in Scotland.

Promote and encourage new vehicle technologies

145. Promoting new vehicle technologies has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and air pollution from transport and tackling the high demand for energy in transport. Vehicle standards are not devolved to Scottish Ministers, however, we can and will do what is within the devolved competence of the Scottish Government to encourage the uptake of new vehicles which have lower emissions. The Executive already takes a keen interest in the UK's work on the Powering Future Vehicles Strategy ( PFVS) and will continue to do so, participating in the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to encourage market change in low carbon vehicles.

146. The Voluntary Agreements between the European Commission and car manufacturers are designed to reduce carbon emissions from new cars by improving fuel efficiency. We are encouraged by this work and would like to see this continue. In addition, we would like to explore devolved measures that we could use to encourage the uptake of cleaner, low carbon vehicles. For example, working with the regional transport partnerships and local authorities to consider the potential of using parking policy to encourage cleaner vehicles. Alongside this we will continue to fund the Refuelling and Infrastructure Grant Programme within Scotland to help improve the network of refuelling and recharging stations for cleaner fuels (ie not petrol and diesel).

147. We recognise however that new vehicles are only part of the market. In addition, we will explore the possibility of introducing a rolling programme of Fleet Vehicle Health Checks for private and public fleets to ensure the continual improvement of fuel and vehicle efficiencies. We are also exploring the feasibility of providing additional funding e.g. European Structural Funds, for local authorities to help them improve the environmental performance of their existing vehicle fleet.

148. Motorcycles are already subject to EC emissions limits and through their reduced energy needs and ability to make progress in congested conditions they can make a positive contribution to reduced carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

149. For rail we can aim to reduce emissions primarily through a gradual shift from diesel to electric, linked to sustained energy production, that will overall make our transport system less fossil fuel dependent in the long term and by encouraging more people to choose rail over car.

150. The Executive is committed to working with RTPs, LAs and operators to reduce emissions from buses. While there are a number of mechanisms available that could be used as levers, none of them are simple. We will, therefore, be reviewing the effectiveness of these mechanisms, including the SE bus subsidy regime, to consider whether a new approach or more co-ordinated approach is required.

Promote better synergies between transport and land use planning to minimise the environmental impacts of transport networks and to contribute to health improvement

151. Planning for Transport, Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) 17, 65 was published in 2005 and sets out how development plans should allocate land for new development in the knowledge of the capacity of the transport network and, where necessary, demonstrating where new transport infrastructure is required to service development. In dealing with planning applications, a system is promoted whereby each application contains details of the likely transport impacts and the proposed means of mitigating those impacts through design, investment or sustainable travel plans.

152. Assessing planning applications according to the guidance should also prioritise access on foot, by bicycle, by public transport and lastly by car in order to encourage sustainable modes of transport. New housing developments, supermarkets and businesses should be designed to encourage walking or cycling over local networks to local facilities rather than making car trips the mode of choice. Explicit links should be made to railway stations, bus corridors and other transport interchanges to maximise the opportunity for use of public transport. There is also a regime of maximum parking standards now established to constrain car trips at destinations. These requirements can have a significant impact on the amount of physical activity that individuals undertake, encouraging them to walk and cycle where possible and planning these activities into the early stages of the design work, leading ultimately to improved health.

153. SPP 17 is now an established core tool for promoting sustainable travel both by reducing the need to travel and in encouraging travel by sustainable modes. This not only impacts on the strategic outcome of reducing carbon emissions from transport and improving air quality but also contributes significantly to improving the health of Scotland's population by those involved in key planning decisions taking account of walking, cycling and public transport in those decisions.

154. We support the continued application of SPP17 and to enhance its application we will encourage key stakeholders to work together - Transport Scotland, local authorities, RTPs, developers, transport operators and major employers. We will monitor the effectiveness of SPP17 to ensure that it contributes to sustainable planning and transport outcomes. We will also encourage local authorities to pursue sustainable transport commitments by private developers where they are not implemented in new developments.

155. On a longer term basis, we would want to see all those involved in transport and land use planning having a shared understanding of each other's contributions and how to maximise joint working to achieve sustainable land use planning. We will explore the opportunities to promote education and training for all disciplines to achieve common objectives and ensure that a step change is achieved.

Evidence Base:SMART measures tackle both congestion and climate change at the same time and the evidence 64 suggests they are highly cost effective, particularly when implemented in conjunction with complementary 'hard' transport measures. An evaluation 65 of a series of soft measures that had been implemented in areas within the UK found that on average, every £1 spent on well-designed soft measures could bring about £10 of benefit in reduced congestion alone, more in the most congested areas. This study suggests that one of the soft measures - teleworking - accounts for around 40% of the overall reductions estimated by 2010. This is based on a UK wide figure of 7.4% of working adults teleworking to some extent, however the Scottish figure is estimated to be 13.5% so the benefits are potentially higher.

156. We think the focus on land use planning has broader benefits than only minimising the environmental impacts of transport, it will also maximise opportunities for improved access to services, improve opportunities for people to undertake physical activity as part of their travel thereby improving health, and support our high level objective to promote economic growth.

Actively promote SMART measures such as travel plans, and high quality travel information to encourage more sustainable travel

157. SMART measures are about encouraging travellers to use alternative, more sustainable modes of travel, raising awareness about the need to travel and providing alternative solutions to single occupancy car use for journeys. These measures typically include travel plans, public transport information, travel awareness campaigns, travel to school campaigns, car clubs, car sharing schemes, cycling and walking, car free housing zones and teleworking. These measures are targeted at encouraging people to change their behaviour. Public awareness campaigns are key to this.

158. SMART measures are dependent on a package of interventions in order to be successful. If they are implemented in isolation then as road traffic levels are reduced the extra road space created may act as an incentive for 'new' motorists to use the roads, thereby offsetting some of the initial benefits. To maximise the benefits of SMART measures they must be part of a wider strategy, and then benefits must be 'locked in'.

159. Progress to date in Scotland on introducing some SMART measures, such as sustainable travel plans, has been disappointing both in the public and private sector. In other areas, for example tele-working, Scotland is ahead of the UK. To get a clearer picture of the benefits of all the SMART measures in Scotland, we will be undertaking a Scottish specific appraisal of SMART measures before we commit to the exact programme of investment.

160. We do believe it is for the public sector to demonstrate leadership in sustainable travel plans and we will continue to work with the public sector to deliver this objective. We are already supporting regional transport partnerships to take a strategic approach to sustainable travel plans through funding Travel Plan Co-ordinators in every region with £1m being invested over the first 2 years. We are producing guidance for these co-ordinators. Through this investment and support package, we want all local authorities and major hospitals and health facilities to have operational travel plans by April 2008. We expect these travel plans to develop over time with increasingly successful results. In the medium term, the Scottish Executive will lead by example with its own sustainable travel plan operating across Scotland.

Case Study: Royal Bank of Scotland - Gogar

Gogarburn houses approximately 3,500 RBS employees, where they enjoy a variety of on-campus facilities including a Nursery, Health & Leisure Suite, a conference centre and business school. The office accommodation is arranged around a central "street" offering a range of retail outlets, including hairdresser, supermarket and pharmacy. Such facilities minimise the need for off-site journeys.

To inform the travel plan, a Sustainable Transport Access Study was undertaken. This revealed that only 21% of RBS staff had direct sustainable transport links to Gogarburn, and suggested a risk of high car dependency. To mitigate this, RBS worked closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and the major bus operators to increase the Sustainable Transport Access Zone to include 40% of staff by expanding the public bus network - including an RBS subsidy for non-profitable routes - and building facilities for buses to stop on site.

Car-sharing is actively encouraged and parking permits are needs-assessed. An annual appraisal considers where staff live in relation to public transport, their participation in car sharing, work/life balance issues and some elements of business need. Eligible vehicles are allocated a specific bay, to reduce car-park "cruising" and the associated fuel, congestion and emissions.

The Operational Travel Plan comprises:

  • Excellent facilities for cyclists and motorcyclists
  • 7 new bus services stopping on site, and 10+ services stopping next to the Campus
  • RBS Taxibuses to transport staff commuting by rail to South Gyle and Edinburgh Park stations, as well as for journeys between Edinburgh sites and to the airport
  • Interest-free loans for purchase of public transport season tickets and bicycles
  • Needs-based parking criteria and on-line booking tool
  • RBS Journeyshare software and priority parking for car sharers
  • Up-to-date information via the Travel Information web-site and regular newsletter
  • Regular Travel Clinics offering information and Personal Journey Planning
  • Opportunities for flexi-working, including home-working and compressed hours
  • The travel plan is controlled by a management system, is subject to annual audit and forms part of the ISO14001 accredited, Environmental Management System for Gogarburn.
Evidence Base: A number of pieces of research have considered the potential impacts on the environment of modal shift to cycling and walking. The findings vary, with one analysis 66 finding that if 20% of car trips of less than 5 miles were replaced by cycling/walking, there could be a fall of approximately 4.8% in car emissions. However, other research 67 has been less optimistic, finding that actions to encourage transfer from cars to walking and cycling could reduce the distance travelled by car by about 0.3% for walking and 0.4% for cycling, which would result in only around a 1% reduction in carbon emissions. This equates to around 30kT of carbon in Scotland.

161. To demonstrate our commitment to SMART measures, we intend to investigate a further integrated package of measures. These could include:

  • Supporting travel awareness and marketing campaigns at a local level to promote SMART measures on all journeys, focusing especially on the commute to work, where currently two thirds of commuters travel by car, and other journeys under 5 miles.
  • Funding, with LAs, RTPs and other key stakeholders, sustainable travel demonstration towns and villages across Scotland to reduce car use and promote cycling, walking, home zones, tele-working and pedestrianisation to test different approaches and share best practice.

162. These measures, once the appraisal has been completed, would be introduced alongside our other policies such as demand management measures for roads and investment in public transport to deliver the benefits.

Promote cycling and walking as sustainable forms of transport especially for short journeys

163. The Scottish Government has funded improvements for cycling and walking over a number of years. Currently we provide funding to:

  • Cycling Scotland to raise the profile of cycling and encourage local authorities to develop cycling strategies as part of their Local Transport Strategies;
  • Local authorities for developing cycling projects through Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets allocations and for School Travel Co-ordinator ( STC) posts; and
  • Sustrans to develop the National Cycle Network and improve links to schools, hospitals and the wider community. £9.5m has been provided to date and £8m over the next 2 years.

164. We recognise the important role that promoting cycling and walking can have both in reducing emissions, improving air quality and contributing to improved health by increasing physical activity levels. Within the Scottish Government itself, we have created a Sustainable Transport Team, bringing together for the first time, policy on cycling and walking with our wider sustainable transport agenda. We aim to further increase funding for cycling and walking overall and will place more emphasis on the promotion of them as sustainable forms of transport especially for short journeys - focusing on the safety, quality and location of routes, secure and practical facilities at departure and destination points including tenement blocks, transport hubs, public buildings and shopping centres, and the carriage of bicycles on public transport.

You told us… that the National Cycle target should be retained but that Scotland is unlikely to achieve the target. The National Cycling Strategy and Programme for Government target is to quadruple the average number of bicycle trips made between 1996 and 2012. The average annual number of journeys made by bicycle per person per year in Scotland has increased from 8 during 1995-97 to 9 during 2002-03. Our stakeholders recognise that the target is unachievable and should be revised in light of the NTS. We will take this forward in partnership with Cycling Scotland.

Case Study:

In efforts to promote active travel by hospital staff, Raigmore Hospital supplemented funds from the Cycle Challenge Fund for the purchase of 11 secure cycle lockers, housing 22 bikes. These lockers have been extremely successful and there is now a waiting list for spaces. The secure cycle lockers and the outside stand which houses a further 42 bikes are always full to capacity. To enhance security, the stands and lockers are also covered by CCTV, reducing bike theft to only one in five years.

To further promote cycling, Raigmore have also created cycle lanes within the campus which link to the National Cycle Network, and a bike to work scheme was established providing staff with the opportunity to purchase bicycles from a local bicycle shop by paying a deposit of 10%, with the remaining balance being paid through an interest free deduction from their salary.

165. We will continue to support our existing programme and in addition will:

  • Support local awareness campaigns highlighting the benefits of cycling targeted at school children, timed to maximise benefits of the school terms;
  • Work with Cycling Scotland to explore the possibility of all schools running cycle training in playgrounds (where possible) for every child under 10 and on road training for every child over 10;
  • Encourage all public bodies to meet Cycling Scotland's criteria to become a Cycle Friendly Employer by 2008;
  • Support Sustrans to enable it to complete the National Cycle Network in Scotland and to promote the full network on the VisitScotland website;
  • Fund Cycling Scotland to develop and manage Scotland's Bike It Week programme; and
  • Encourage local authorities to undertake street audits to promote walking for shorter journeys.

Actively promote sustainable distribution strategies, aimed at enabling freight to use rail and sea as alternatives to road and reducing the environmental impact of freight traffic on roads

Increasing efficiency of road freight

166. Currently the Scottish Government funds a number of exemplar schemes aimed at improving the efficiency of the road freight sector in Scotland. These include Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving ( SAFED) training. As the name suggests, this training is designed to encourage safer and more fuel efficient driving. It also benefits the environment by reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

167. Two state-of-the-art truck simulators have been introduced and research has confirmed their applicability for training drivers across a range of simulated conditions. A freight specific website ( www.freightscotland.org) has also been established to enhance delivery efficiency through improved route planning.

168. We will continue to work with the road haulage industry to seek ways to further improve its efficiency. In addition, there is potential to introduce SAFED training into the 'white van' sector. Further detail of our commitment is contained in our Freight Action Plan. We are also interested to explore whether the benefits of SAFED training could be extended to bus and/or coach drivers.

Evidence Base: To date c.1300 HGV drivers, or about 5% of the total HGV driver population, have undergone training. Evaluation of the driving improvements resulting from the training suggests potential annual savings of over £2.7 million in fuel costs; and the potential benefit to the environment is a reduction of 2.2KtC. If the industry extended SAFED training across the HGV sector, the potential savings could rise to about £57 million in financial terms and a reduction of 46KtC. 68

Evidence Base: The Driving Standards Agency found that eco-driving training yields immediate results, with an 8.5% improvement in fuel efficiency for drivers on a set course after two hours of training. In Finland a pilot scheme is estimated to have saved 2.3kT carbon in 2005, whilst a better established scheme in the Netherlands is anticipated to save approximately 164kT carbon per year. 69

Encouraging the transfer of freight from road to rail and water

169. We have already made considerable progress on encouraging the transfer of freight from road to rail and water, including Scotland's canal network, through our existing grant schemes of the Freight Facilities Grant, the Track Access Grant and the Waterborne Freight Grant. We will continue to support schemes such as these to enable modal shift.

170. We believe that there is still more to be achieved in relation to modal shift for freight and we intend to examine further through our Freight Action Plan what additional capacity there is for freight to move off the roads, linked to the development of potential multi-modal hubs across Scotland for movement of freight.

Eco-driving and car buying information

171. Eco-driving (driving more efficiently to reduce emissions and fuel consumption) can result in fuel savings with a resultant decrease in carbon emissions and economic benefits. We aim to expand this initiative on a much broader basis. This could include, for example, advice being provided through motoring organisations, fleet managers, hire and lease vehicle companies, public bodies, RTPs, Traffic Scotland and through general marketing campaigns.

172. Consumers generally do not connect their vehicle, size of engine and type of fuel to environmental issues. The environment tends to be low on the list of considerations of most car buyers, whether it be a new or second hand car. Whilst information on carbon emissions is now being displayed voluntarily on most new cars, consumers often do not understand the consequences of the various bands. The situation is even worse for second hand sales as emission labelling is not available and 75% of vehicles are bought second hand. We want to improve this situation to increase both environmental awareness and help consumers make more sustainable choices. We will work with partners such as DfT, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and EST to work towards an easily understood system for new and second hand vehicles.

Undertake a Scottish specific appraisal of stricter adherence to national speed limits on trunk roads and motorways to identify potential environmental benefits, including carbon savings

173. A stricter adherence to national speed limits has potential safety benefits and could in addition deliver carbon benefits.

174. The overall speed limit framework including the setting of national limits for different road types, and which exceptions to the general limits can be applied, are the responsibility of the UK Government. Management and enforcement of the speed limit is a matter for local authorities, Transport Scotland and the police and currently compliance with the speed limit is sought through management of the network (speed limits, fixed-point speed cameras and more recently average speed cameras) and enforcement through cameras, fines, active police interventions and court proceedings. In recent years trialling has been introduced of average speed cameras. The SPECS average speed camera system is the first to be trialled in Scotland on sections of the M77 and A77 with a particularly high accident rate. Early indicators are that in its first year of operation, SPECS has achieved a significant reduction in average speeds, with relatively low levels of enforcement action. We will consider the possibilities for expanding the use of average speed camera systems on Scottish roads in future, taking account of their potential benefits for road safety, driver improvement, emission reduction and speed enforcement, as well as of future technological developments.

175. To develop the evidence base further, we are interested to undertake a Scottish specific appraisal of the potential costs, practicalities, benefits and disbenefits of a policy of stricter enforcement of speed limits, including the impacts on other Executive policies on road safety, and the opportunities that rapidly evolving technologies might afford.

Support moves towards aviation and surface transport emissions trading in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

176. We recognise that both aviation and surface road transport contribute to transport emissions. The Scottish Government continues to support efforts at the UK level to promote an emissions trading scheme that includes aviation and surface road transport.

Evidence Base: Recent UK-wide research 70 suggests that a "lower, or merely better enforced, top speed limit is one of the most certain, equitable, cost effective and potentially popular routes to a lower carbon economy". This study argues that a strictly enforced 70mph speed limit would cut carbon emissions from UK road transport by nearly by 1Mt of carbon per annum. The study claims that a 60mph maximum limit would nearly double this reduction, reducing emissions by an average 1.88Mt of carbon per annum. The study also purports to find that better enforcement of the current 70mph maximum speed limit would prevent around 60 deaths and 270 serious injuries per year across the UK, calculates the associated cost saving of £120 million and that these figures would double with a 60mph maximum speed limit. Further consideration and analysis would be required to test whether and to what extent these claims could be substantiated and what the implications would be under Scottish-specific circumstances.

Our Key Commitments

  • Work with UK Government to deliver the biofuels target by 2010 and beyond.
  • Explore introducing a rolling programme Fleet Vehicle Health Checks.
  • Develop travel awareness and marketing campaigns to promote SMART measures on all journeys, focusing especially on the commute to work.
  • Support Sustrans to complete the National Cycle Network.
  • Explore with key partners sustainable travel demonstration towns across Scotland to reduce car use and promote cycling and walking.
  • Continue to fund the Scottish Road Haulage Modernisation Fund and to investigate extending this to vans and buses/coaches.
  • Undertake a Scottish specific appraisal of the potential carbon savings of stricter adherence to national speed limits on trunk roads and motorways.