Members of the public and community groups are being asked to give their views on existing and future transport problems and opportunities in and around Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire as work on a Strategic Transport Appraisal continues.
One of the Aberdeen City Region Deal’s (CRD) key projects, the Strategic Transport Appraisal takes a 20-year view of the transport implications of the investment unlocked by the Deal across all modes of transport. The appraisal will also help the local authorities and Regional Transport Partnership, Nestrans, to formulate ideas and ascertain what is needed to form the next Regional Transport Strategy covering the period up to 2035.
This appraisal looks at addressing issues at key gateways into Aberdeen; enabling safe, reliable and attractive connections along key strategic corridors which promote economic growth; tying together transport infrastructure and development planning on a regional basis; and facilitating the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan.
A programme of significant public sector investment in transport infrastructure, including over £1billion across road and rail projects, is underway, with a significant change in travel patterns expected to follow the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the roll out of improvements to rail services. The Strategic Transport Appraisal will consider what further transport improvements may be required to ensure the region remains an internationally competitive business environment with a secure long-term economic future. The views of stakeholders and members of the public will be vital to identifying the problems and opportunities to be considered at this early stage of the study.
The launch of a public survey follows a series of workshops held with key stakeholders and transport representatives in late 2017, where individuals from local businesses, the emergency and health services came together with transport operators and transport user groups to discuss problems and opportunities and ideas to improve transport provision around the region.
This early engagement and information-gathering is a significant part of the pre-appraisal process. The next steps will be the consideration of evidence base, generation of transport planning objectives followed by identification and appraisal of various transport interventions that could meet the objectives.
The emerging outcomes of the appraisal will form the basis of a new Regional Transport Strategy for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and will be used to inform the evidence base for consideration of national transport priorities as part of the second Strategic Transport Projects Review.
Chair of the City Region Deal Joint Committee and leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Cllr Jim Gifford said: “This region is benefitting from substantial investment in its strategic transport infrastructure as a result of the Deal, and we are determined to maximise this exciting opportunity for transformation, recognising the pressures and constraints being placed on air, road and rail links.
“The Strategic Transport Appraisal is a vital mechanism in fulfilling the full potential of this investment. We very much look forward to the outcome of the appraisal being brought back to us quickly so that we can start actioning the necessary infrastructure improvements, integral to delivering a future-proof city region for generations to come.”
The public survey is available at: bit.ly/2EoHYQz until Friday 9th February 2018.