The objective of this project is to explore the needs and expectations for the public road network in Scotland over the next 20 years, balancing the short, medium and long term environmental and social priorities with the likely future mobility needs of people and goods. This will consider the key role of strategic road management in meeting these needs whilst influencing the long-term decision-making in the governance and management of Scotland’s only truly universal public service – its road network.
There is an opportunity to develop new collaborative relationships between public roads authorities and the wider road community, including those organisations who can directly contribute to influencing change, delivering outcomes and developing new technologies.
There is a growing view that there is a more efficient and integrated way to manage public roads, based on pro-active preventative investment. A key to this will be to share a vision of what is required and to have a powerful narrative force that looks to achieve outcomes within a national context, whilst providing evidence of success.
The aim will be to create a future reference horizon through a robust and credible narrative, to help decision-makers get beyond a short to medium term tactical approach to planning and create an evidenced sense of the scale of investment necessary over time to deliver the network we need in 2035.
Systematic long term scenario(s) will be considered covering issues such as the volume of demand on roads, types and forms of public and private transport, the state and investment needs of the network and the distribution of demand given differential population growth and decline across Scotland. Legislative, political and policy drivers will also be identified in this context.
A national event was held in March 2016, bringing together all organisations and agencies involved in the management and maintenance of Scotland’s public roads, alongside those who benefit from a well-managed road network, to discuss the road-related challenges of the next 20 years, and to reach a consensual understanding and long-term view of the future needs and expectations of the public road network.
A final report will draw all of this together in a well-structured and evidence-based document, accepted across the roads community and recognised by all other sectors who rely on there being a well-managed, resourced and resilient roads network.