Strategic Transport Fund guidance comes into force today

Stuart Smith2015, News

Refreshed guidance on the Strategic Transport Fund, which comes into force today (Friday, August 28), will help deliver approximately £100million of key transport improvements in the Aberdeen City Region.  These improvements are required as a consequence of new development planned for the area over the next 10-20 years.

The Strategic Transport Fund plays a key role in facilitating that development. The interventions will ensure that new infrastructure is delivered to mitigate impacts on the transport network from the new development.

Supplementary guidance in connection with the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan has been in preparation over the last year and is now ready for implementation following consultation and sign-off by the Scottish Government.

On Thursday (August 27), Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee paved the way for the statutory supplementary guidance on the Strategic Transport Fund to come into force. This follows a parallel decision made by Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee last week.

The new statutory guidance will replace the non-statutory guidance which has been in force for the last three and a half years. The STF has successfully generated income from new development to deliver a range of strategically important transport projects to address the cumulative impact of the continued growth of the area.

Current and future projects include improvements to the Parkway and Persley Bridge, junction improvements at the A96, A944, A956 and A90, a new train station at Kintore and a new link over the River Dee.

Planning obligations totalling over £20million have already been agreed by developers and the new guidance will facilitate the continued operation of this important mechanism to facilitate the growth of the City Region.

Chair of the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority, Councillor Peter Argyle welcomed the implementation of the new guidance and the recognition already given to it on a national basis. “The predecessor guidance won the ‘Most Innovative Transport Project of the Year’ at the Scottish Transport Awards in 2013 and features prominently in recent Scottish Government research looking to highlight good practice in infrastructure planning.

“I hope that we will continue to innovate in this area and work with the Scottish Government and the private sector to improve processes at a national level to facilitate much needed development in this area.”

Nestrans Chair Councillor Ramsay Milne welcomed the adoption and implementation of the supplementary guidance. “I look forward to these key transport projects being delivered over the next few years to accommodate the significant growth aspirations of the area.”