2012 Final LTS - Aberdeenshire

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Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 2012LTS 2012ForewordAddressing the issues of congestion, climate change, physical inactivity and theprospect of future fuel scarcity, the Local Transport Strategy (LTS) is clear in itsobjectives to deliver real, measureable improvements.The development of the LTS has required careful consideration of strategic nationaland regional transport priorities, seeking to align its objectives with those of ourpartners at Nestrans – as set out in the North East Regional Transport Strategy –and the Scottish Government. If Aberdeenshire is to grow and continue to beeconomically vibrant, an efficient transport network is vital in supporting theseaspirations.In this current economic climate, the overarching philosophy of Aberdeenshire’s LTShas been developed to maximise our existing resources. Central to our approach andthe actions promoted within this document is the guiding principle encouragingindividuals and businesses to consider ways to travel less, travel more actively and,where vehicular travel is necessary, how journeys could be undertaken moreeffectively.This will be achieved by recognising that, geographically, Aberdeenshire has amixture of urban and rural settlements, with each of its local areas experiencingunique issues and, importantly, opportunities. The LTS has been developed tosupport transport across Aberdeenshire, working at a local level to achieve the wideraspirations. With this approach, the LTS reflects the broader priorities ofAberdeenshire’s citizens who seek road network improvements, improved publictransport provision and greater opportunities to undertake sustainable journeys,addressing these priorities at a local level first.The LTS has also been developed in recognition that traffic generated inAberdeenshire can have an adverse effect on congestion in Aberdeen City and it istherefore imperative that the Strategy supports our City partners in the delivery of theAberdeen City LTS.At its heart, the LTS recognises that every method of transport has an important roleto play. The LTS aims to maximise these transport opportunities by ensuring that, ascitizens, we make the right travel choices and that, where possible, travel options aresupported and developed. In this way, the LTS will help Aberdeenshire address thedifficult transport challenges that we face.Councillor Peter ArgyleChair, Infrastructure Services Committee1 / 28

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 2012123456Introduction.31.1The Local Transport Strategy .31.2The Guiding Principle .41.3Delivery Mechanism .4Where we are.52.1Progress to Date.52.2Developing the LTS .62.3Main Issues .6Where we want to be .93.1Vision.93.2Aims.93.3Objectives.93.4Targets .10How we get there .114.1Travel Less .114.2Travel Actively .134.3Travel Effectively .16Monitoring, Reporting and Promoting .23Delivery Plan .242 / 28

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 20121 IntroductionSince publication of the previous LTS in 2007, the economic climate has changedconsiderably and the Council has an even greater obligation to ensure that thetransport challenges of today are confronted in an efficient and economical way. Witheffective climate change legislation1, there is also a real need to demonstrateAberdeenshire’s ability to report on, adapt to, and mitigate against climate change.This LTS document sets out how the Council will aim to cater for the needs of alltransport users across the region, ensuring that existing resources are used anddeveloped to their full potential.1.1 The Local Transport StrategyAberdeenshire’s LTS aims to deliver transport solutions for users of the localtransport network. The Strategy identifies the key transport issues affectingAberdeenshire and sets out an approach that is shared by citizens, businesses andthe Council including its partners, backed up by a series of actions which will supportdelivery of our vision:“Serving Aberdeenshire from mountain to sea – the very best of Scotland”The LTS has been developed to support the delivery of a range of wider strategictransport objectives and priorities as set out in the Nestrans Regional TransportStrategy (RTS), its associated Action Plans and the Scottish Government’s NationalTransport Strategy (NTS). The Strategy also supports the Aberdeen City and ShireEconomic Forum’s (ACSEF) Economic Action Plan, the Aberdeenshire EconomicDevelopment Strategy and the Council’s wider aims as set out in the Single OutcomeAgreement.Taking into account the impact ofcommuter traffic generated fromwithin Aberdeenshire into AberdeenCity, the LTS aims to supportpartners at Aberdeen City Council inthe delivery of their own LTS and themain development plans2. The linkbetween the LTS and other relevantplans and guidance documents isillustrated in Figure 1.1.Alongside the strategicconsiderations, the LTS takes intoFigure 1.1: LTS Hierarchyaccount the results from extensivepublic and stakeholder consultation which considered the problems and opportunitiesthat the Strategy should seek to address over the next three to four years.1Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009These include the Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan (2009), the emerging Aberdeenshire Local DevelopmentPlan and the emerging Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan.23 / 28

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 20121.2 The Guiding PrincipleDrawing upon lessons learned from previous transport strategies and taking intoaccount the challenges we face today, the LTS embraces a simple guiding principle.The LTS will aim to encourage individuals and businesses to consider ways to travelless, travel more actively and, where vehicular travel is necessary, how journeyscould be made more effectively.Adopting this approach, the LTS can consider all modes of transport as well asoptions designed to support a reduced need to travel. In addition, as our transportnetwork is governed by its capacity, safety and maintenance, these issues can betaken into account when considering our approach to maximise the effectivemovement of people and goods.For some, the change in travelbehaviour required to adopt theabove guiding principle may bedifficult or unfeasible. However,there are those who are ready tochange, requiring only a modestlevel of input from the Council tosupport these changes. Recognisingthis allows us to concentrate effortson those ready to adopt new travelbehaviours, ensuring that our effortsare better directed. ByFigure 1.2: The Guiding Principleunderstanding who can change theirtravel behaviour and supporting the interventions required to facilitate this, theopportunities to achieve the LTS objectives will be greatly increased.We will therefore: Identify those primed forchange; Promote small changesfirst; Maximise use of existinginfrastructure; Remove barriers; Support longer termchange; and Encourage individuals toquestion their journeys.Figure 1.3: The Guiding Principle in Practice1.3 Delivery MechanismAberdeenshire is a diverse region with many complex and competing issues acrossthe area. Taking this into account, it is intended that the LTS will be delivered at alocal level, working closely with communities to ensure that local problems areaddressed and the bigger issues are tackled collaboratively with partners. By workingclosely with local communities to identify the real issues, tailor-made solutions can bedelivered. In addition, this approach creates greater opportunities for funding andresource pooling. We will monitor our approach closely to ensure that our efforts areeffective, allowing time to adjust to change and reflect on our progress on a regularbasis.4 / 28

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 20122 Where we are2.1 Progress to DateThis is the Council’s fourth LTS,following on from previous publicationsin 1998, 2000 and 2007. A review ofprogress made by the previous LTSreveals success in a number of areas,as set out below: In the field of Travel Planning, theCouncil has proactivelyencouraged the development ofTravel Plans for residential, retailand employment developmentsand The GetAbout Partnershipwas launched to promotesustainable travel.Through sustained commitment tosafer routes to schools, some 92%of Aberdeenshire schools are nowinvolved in the School TravelPlanning process which hasresulted in reduced car use forschool journeys.To promote Walking and Cycling,the Council produced its firstWalking and Cycling Action Plan in2009. Initiatives developed haveincluded local footpath networks,pedestrian crossings, trafficcalming measures and promotionssuch as ‘Walk Week’ andScotland’s first ‘No Excuse Zone’marketing campaign.In terms of Passenger Transport,the Council continues to be a keymember of the longest standingQuality Partnership for PublicTransport in Scotland. Over recentyears, several Bus RouteDevelopment projects have beencompleted, while new interchangesand pioneering on-street,interactive journey planningfacilities have been implemented.The Council’s first Bus InformationStrategy was published in 2010.Other successes include increasedpatronage on Aberdeenshire A2BDial-a-Bus network with over 53,000 trips made in 2009/10.Patronage at Ellon Park and Ridehas continued to increase, whilelocal passenger satisfactionsurveys undertaken for thenetwork as a whole in 2011indicate that service deliveryexceeds the national benchmark infour of the five national bus qualityindicators.The Council continues to manageand maintain the condition of theexisting road network to a highstandard. This is reflected in theannual national Scottish RoadMaintenance Condition Surveywhere we continue to be one of thetop 5 areas in Scotland.Aberdeenshire’s Road AccidentReduction progress has beensignificant, particularly taking intoaccount the length of the roadnetwork, the rural nature of themajority of that network and thearea’s relatively high carownership levels. In 2011, theCouncil published a Joint RoadSafety Plan with partners atAberdeen City and The MorayCouncils. Road safety educationand engagement campaigns havebeen implemented with public andprivate sector partners.Building on the 2007 RTS,Partnership Working withNestrans has delivered some realsuccesses, notably the re-openingof Laurencekirk Rail Station in2009. The Council has also helpedto develop, and continues tosupport, the implementation of theBus, Rail, Freight, and Health &Transport Action Plans.The Council has maintained astrong role in developing anddisseminating best practice intransport projects in Europe as a5 / 28

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 2012key partner in the North SeaCommission’s Transport Group.Consultation FindingsOur successes to date have beenrecognised externally with the Councilreceiving National Transport Awardsfor specific projects, and the accoladeof ‘Transport Local Authority of theYear’, in both 2008 and 2009, whilebeing ‘highly commended’ in 2010.In addition to the critical review, anextensive consultation process hasbeen undertaken to develop this LTS,including:In spite of the good progress, anumber of areas still require attentionincluding the need to increase publictransport patronage and to addressthe rising levels of car use. 2.2 Developing the LTSCritical ReviewTo inform the development of the LTS,an independent critical review of the2007 document was undertaken. Thereview considered previous successesand identified areas for improvement,based on examination of the currentissues and policies that have emergedsince its publication.The review acknowledged that theprevious LTS was successful in anumber of areas, was still stronglycompliant with key issues andtherefore provided a solid foundationupon which this strategy should bebuilt. However, the adoption of new,innovative and fresh approacheswould be required for certain areas.A key finding of the review concerneddifficulties associated with themonitoring process. It was found thatmany of the targets focused onoutcomes with limited opportunities torecord or monitor the outputs ofactions. Without this stage in themonitoring process, it has beendifficult to determine the success of allof our actions. This issue has beenconsidered in developing the LTS andits monitoring process and is set out insection 5 of the Strategy. A survey with the Citizen’s Panel inautumn 2010, gathering around650 responses.A wide-reaching questionnairepromoted to the general publ

Aberdeenshire Council Local Transport Strategy 2012 6 / 28 key partner in the North Sea Commission’s Transport Group. Our successes to date have been recognised externally with the Council receiving National Transport Awards for specific projects, and the accolade of ‘Transport Local Authority of the Year’, in both 2008 and 2009, while

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