We are interested in the whole range of issues across all modes of transport however in order to stimulate discussion and comment we will be posting discussion papers on a range of topics over the coming weeks.
Please click on the links below to read more information on each topic and to submit your views. If you have more general views or comments that you would like to submit for consideration, please do so here.
Many people in our communities are cut off from opportunities and essential services, including education, work and healthcare because of the costs of car ownership and the cost and availability of public transport alternatives. Sometimes referred to as Transport Poverty, the implications are far reaching but can include many people being forced to choose between owning a car they perhaps cannot afford or being unable to access key public services and other facilities, leading to social isolation and a lack of opportunity.
Climate change will undoubtedly be a key factor in determining how travel in and around the north east of Scotland is likely to change. The gradual move away from diesel and petrol vehicles, reducing the need to travel due to better internet and digital connections and the desire by many for more active travel such as cycling and walking to improve public health and environment in communities across the North East of Scotland will all be key considerations.
Travelling in any form comes with its own risks and challenges. This can be compounded for people with disabilities. These need to be taken into account in the planning and delivering of transport, although the needs of those with different impairments, including dementia, mental health issues and learning difficulties, will not be the same.
Aberdeen Airport is a key economic driver for the north east. The fortunes of Aberdeen Airport have closely followed the economic strength of the region – although some dips have been experienced, the general trajectory of growth returns quickly. Whilst recent years have seen a downturn in the regional economy as a result of difficulties in the oil and gas industry, there is every reason to believe that a return to economic growth will again happen.
In May 2019, the Scottish Government declared a global climate emergency. Amendments to the Climate Change Bill have been lodged to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest, with Scotland becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Transport or lack of it has an impact on all our lives and on public health. Public Health professionals talk about the determinants of public health. The image below helps to illustrate the factors which affect health and who can influence it.
The bus is a key component of the transport network in the north east. Many people rely on the bus to get to work, education, health and leisure opportunities and for many it provides a socially necessary service. For many others, it provides an alternative to travelling by private car and contributes significantly to reducing congestion on the region’s road network.
The term road safety encompasses a wide range of considerations for those charged with its delivery. Engineers seek to provide a safe and well-maintained road network, as well as monitoring collisions across the road network to identify trends and geographical patterns. Other road safety professionals provide information and practical support on how to use the road safely, irrespective of the mode of travel.
The north east of Scotland has eight railway stations (with another under construction at Kintore). Historically, few local rail travel opportunities meant that travel to work by rail is small, just 1% at the time of Scottish Household Survey in 2017. Yet rail travel is regarded as a significant contributor to the Regional Transport Strategy and the importance of rail travel for business and leisure travel is not to be underestimated – more than half of Aberdeen’s 3 million passengers are making journeys over 100 kilometres (mostly to the central belt or beyond) – this compares to Edinburgh at 20% and Glasgow at just 5% .
Given the importance of the oil and gas industry in the north east, freight plays a very important role both in Aberdeen City and across Aberdeenshire. This is evidenced by the significant movements of both sea freight and road freight around the harbour and across the city. Additionally, due to the location of Aberdeen, and its remoteness from the other major Scottish cities, freight in all forms plays a vital role in the movement of goods to, from and around the region and is critical to the success of the region’s wider economy.
It is widely accepted that physical activity plays a key role in your health and wellbeing, with numerous studies in recent years showing that people who walk and cycle enjoy longer and healthier lives.
Increasingly, however, research and evidence on the long-term benefits of walking and cycling is uncovering benefits that are even greater than previously thought. Regular physical activity can help to prevent numerous serious health conditions and, as well as saving the NHS millions of pounds each year, it can help save lives.