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Spatial planning ‘must’ feature in Scotland’s transport strategy

Words: Laura Edgar
Buses - Glasgow / iStock-157728704

RTPI Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that the country’s National Transport Strategy supports ‘positive collaboration’ with spatial planning to meet its commitments to be zero-carbon by 2045.

The call was made as part of the institute’s response to the consultation on the National Transport Strategy (NTS2), held by Transport Scotland, the government agency responsible national transport.

Although it is encouraged by the draft strategy, which sets out the vision for transport for the next 20 years, RTPI Scotland warned that transport and spatial planning should be “mutually influential”.

Kate Houghton, policy and practice officer at RTPI Scotland, noted the zero-carbon commitment, and said that the institute is “encouraged” that the strategy recognises the role of planners to support the delivery of the active travel infrastructure that will enable everyone to make more sustainable transport choices.

“The institute points out, however, that this role is a collaborative one – decisions about land use should be informed by transport infrastructure and services. But equally, decisions about how to provide transport should be influenced by land use constraints and priorities.”

Houghton added that it was disconcerting to see spatial planning listed as a challenge in the draft strategy and that there is a tendency throughout the document to require spatial planning to take consideration of transport issues, but not for the reverse.

The RTPI Scotland has welcomed links to the National Planning Framework (NPF) and local development plans. It said preparation of NPF4 would provide an “immediate opportunity to integrate spatial planning and transport more closely”.

RTPI Scotland also called on the Scottish Government to ensure that the transport sector, and those it depends on for success, are properly resourced to deliver commitments made in the strategy.

The RTPI Scotland’s response to the consultation, now closed, can be found on the institute’s website (pdf).

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