Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

Third annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

7. Progress towards "our society's supporting systems being resilient to climate change"

SCCAP2 Outcome 4: Our society's supporting systems are resilient to climate change

This outcome has two sub-outcome considering devolved and reserved infrastructure and the interdependencies between these infrastructure systems.

Examples of progress on cross-cutting policies in support of this outcome

Climate change considerations in civil contingencies risk assessment – As part of our civil contingencies risk assessment work, the Scottish Government's Resilience Division works closely with resilience partners, SEPA and the UK Met Office, to assess climate change risks. This work includes the development of the Scottish Risk Assessment (SRA), which is designed to supplement UK Government's National Security Risk Assessment. Together these documents assist Scottish responders and policy makers in understanding the most significant civil contingencies emergencies which Scotland may face over the next two to five years. The current SRA includes six new risk assessments themed around major impacts from climate change, as well as a dedicated climate change overview chapter.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that: "Scotland's devolved supporting systems are resilient to climate change"

The National Transport Strategy 2 - The NTS2, published in February 2020, set out the Scottish Government's Vision for Scotland's transport system. This vision is underpinned by four priorities: to reduce inequalities, to take climate action, to help deliver inclusive economic growth and to improve health and wellbeing. The Strategy set the context for future transport investment priorities over the next 20 years. Our second annual NTS2 Delivery Plan will be published in Spring 2022. This will outline the actions the Scottish Government is taking to deliver the NTS2 priorities, including the climate action outcome to "adapt to the effects of climate change".

Infrastructure Investment Plan - The Infrastructure Investment Plan for Scotland 2021-22 to 2025-26 outlines a coherent, and strategic approach to delivering Scotland's National Infrastructure Mission. The Plan focuses on three core strategic themes for guiding investment decisions in Scotland: Enabling the transition to net zero emissions and environmental sustainability; Driving inclusive economic growth; and Building resilient and sustainable places. Key climate resilience investments featured in the Plan include the confirmation of £150 million additional funding for flood risk management, £12 million to help us adapt to the threat of sea level rises (see chapter 1) and £60 million to support climate adaptation and resilience in our trunk road network.

Transport Scotland Vulnerable Locations Groups - We have established two Vulnerable Locations Groups within Transport Scotland to oversee the development of the evidence for strategic actions required on wider weather related and climate change issues. In 2021, we have also established a Vulnerable Locations Operational Group which focuses on operational delivery of schemes through a Pilot Adaptation Programme, within existing budgets, to ensure the Trunk Road Network is well adapted to climate change. Schemes delivered through this programme seek to go 'beyond maintenance' and adapt the network to the current and future impacts of climate change and aim to deliver a safe, reliable and resilient Trunk Road Network.

Landslide mitigation resilience measures on the Trunk Road Network – As part of the delivery of landslide mitigation resilience measures on the Trunk Road Network, Transport Scotland is working in partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) to deliver a set of proposals aimed at mitigating the impacts of landslides affecting the A83 in Glen Croe, near the Rest and be Thankful. The focus of the works is the establishment of a native broadleaved woodland on the steep slopes of Beinn Luibhean, directly above the road. Programmed mitigation works have also continued at A83 Rest and Be Thankful throughout 2021 - for example, construction of a bund to enhance resilience of the Old Military Road. Other works are being delivered, for example, at the A86 Laggan rock slopes, A87 Clunie rock slopes and along the A82 at Loch Ness.

Tools for managing wider risks to the transport network - The Transport Scotland Manual for the Management of the Risk of Unplanned Network Disruption has been updated. The 2021 revision includes increased Flooding, Landslide and Wind Management Plan requirements, all of which have relevance to the changing risk landscape under climate change. The Manual provides direction to Operating Companies on managing and mitigating the effects of disruptive events, such as those caused by weather events. The four Trunk Road Operating Companies continue to develop and implement disruption risk processes which are informed by the formal recording of all previous events, as they occur. This includes severe weather related events such as high winds, flooding, snow and ice. The Operating Companies are required to produce and maintain a suite of disruption risk management plans for submission to and approval by Transport Scotland. This should be used to drive investment to address disruption events that already occur and also those which might emerge or increase in frequency and severity in the future.

Landscape management around trunk roads - As part of the recent re-letting of the SE and SW trunk road units and the current re-tendering of the NE and NW units Transport Scotland took the opportunity to review and revise many of the current contract requirements. One such area were the processes for tree management across the trunk road corridors. This was largely influenced by a recognition of the impact of climate change on native species and the related spread of non-native species, including the increasing occurrences and severity of pathogens and diseases – such as Phythophthora ramoram, Dothistroma septosporum and Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (Ash Dieback). New robust procedures have been introduced for the survey, recording, inspection and management of all trees (and other vegetation types) across the network to provide an accurate and up to date database and help better manage planned maintenance requirements, whilst being able to respond more efficiently to reactive issues.

Preparing the Scottish road network for severe weather events - Wind Management Variable Message Signs (VMS) Project, is a key component in the strategy to manage the impacts of high winds, has progressed with the installation of a new weather station on the Tyne Bridge on the A1 now linked to VMS. Additional VMS have been installed on the approaches to Friarton and Erskine Bridges to support wind management with further sites in development.

ScotRail Climate Change Adaptation Plan - ScotRail published its Climate Change Adaptation Plan in January 2021 and works collaboratively with Network Rail and Transport Scotland to ensure resilience of the network and identify adaptation interventions. Transport Scotland has provided policy direction for the new ScotRail Trains Ltd to continue and build upon this work through an environmental sustainability strategy when it effectively comes into public ownership from April 2022.

Private Water Supplies - The recast EU Drinking Water Directive came into force on 12 January 2021. The Scottish Government intends to align with this legislation. This creates obligations on access to water. Policy work is underway to assess how Scotland should align with the Directive to best protect public health. 2021 was another dry year, particularly in the South West, when numerous Private Water Supplies ran dry and had to be provided with alternative water supplies. Storm Arwen in November 2021 and further storms since have destroyed a number of Private Water Supplies either due to a lack of power or the infrastructure being broken. All of these events highlight the need for more resilient water supplies. Working groups have been commissioned to assess how the recast Directive should be incorporated into Scots law.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that "Scotland's reserved supporting systems are resilient to climate change

Reporting on adaptation and climate preparedness in the reserved infrastructure sector - the UK Climate Change Act's Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP) gives the UK government the discretionary power to require relevant bodies to report on their climate preparedness. A third round of ARP reporting was completed at the end of 2021 with voluntary contributions from over 90 organisations. These include reports from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE), SGN Gas, SP Energy Networks, Network Rail, Edinburgh Airport, Northern Lighthouse Board, UK-wide financial regulators, Seafish and from UK-wide industry associations for the UK's digital data centre sector, energy industry and energy networks.

Reaching 100% Programme - Through a combination of the £600 million Reaching 100% (R100) contracts, the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme and continued commercial coverage we delivered our policy commitment to ensure that all homes and businesses could access superfast broadband. During 2022, 16 new subsea cables will be laid which will help to deliver future-proofed, resilient connectivity to 15 Scottish islands. We also continue to work closely with UK Government in order to understand what Project Gigabit might mean for Scotland.

Scottish 4G Infill Programme - The Scottish Government's £28.75m Scottish 4G infill programme is improving Scotland's 4G mobile connectivity by addressing up to 55 so-called 'notspots' (areas where no mobile coverage is available from any mobile operaror) in remote and island communities, from the Scottish Borders to Shetland and Orkney. As of February 2022, 27 sites are now live and delivering 4G services, with a pipeline of further site activations to follow through to March 2023.

How the Adaptation Scotland Programme is supporting this outcome:

Major infrastructure operators, owners and agencies including Transport Scotland, Scottish Water and local authorities are working with Adaptation Scotland to use the Adaptation Capability Framework and mature their approaches to climate change adaptation. Transport Scotland is using learning from the Framework to develop their upcoming adaptation work and will use the benchmarking tool to evaluate progress during 2022.

Adaptation Scotland continues to provide general capacity building support to the infrastructure sector, including running a training session for graduate engineers in partnership with the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland.



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