Spending on transport in Scotland last year was about £1.5 billion and this is expected to rise to £2.3 billion in 2007/08. The Scottish Executive has performed well against most of its transport targets, but more should be done to provide a full picture of what is being achieved with this investment.
This is the main conclusion in a report published today by the Auditor General for Scotland, ‘Scottish Executive: An overview of the performance of transport in Scotland’.
Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black, said: “Investment in transport is significant and growing. Given the scale of the spending and the importance of a sound transport strategy for the economy of Scotland and also for the environment and quality of life, I am encouraging the Executive to improve its monitoring and reporting of what is being delivered through the transport programme."
The report also found:
- The number of rail passenger journeys on ScotRail services has increased by 48 per cent over the last ten years and reached 75.1 million in 2005/06.
- Use of bus services has increased by 23 million passengers since 1999/2000 and user satisfaction is high. The £159 million national concessionary travel scheme is proving popular, but there is a risk that higher than expected usage will exhaust the scheme’s budget.
- An estimated £1.5 billion is required to bring the local authority road network up to standard and £325 million for the trunk road network.
- The Executive is considering whether to replace its aspiration to stabilise road traffic congestion at 2001 levels by 2021. The total volume of road traffic on Scotland’s roads in 2005 was 43 billion vehicle kilometres, 19 per cent more than in 1994, and latest forecasts estimate this figure to grow by a further 27 per cent by 2021.
- In 2003 transport accounted for 17 per cent of all Scottish greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1990 and 2003 transport related greenhouse gas emissions increased from 2.8 million tonnes of carbon to 3.0 million tonnes of carbon.
- Between 1994 and 1998 an average of 378 people a year were killed on Scotland’s roads with 4,460 suffering serious injury. Since then these figures have fallen by 40 per cent.
- Robert Black said: "There is a huge challenge ahead in developing a transport network that balances support for economic growth against the need for a sustainable transport system that minimises impact on the environment. This report provides a basic account of performance and past spending and I hope that it will inform thinking about the future strategy."