Holyrood committee calls for improved links between transport and land use planning policies


The links between transport and land use planning policies must be strengthened to ensure public transport is put at the heart of new developments, according to a report from the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.

The committee report on its inquiry into Transport and Land Use Planning calls on the Scottish Government and local authorities to improve the interactions between the two planning policy areas to prevent developments being built with insufficient transport provision in place.

The recommendations from the committee include that:

  • Planners and transport professionals should work more closely together on new projects
  • Public transport operators should engage earlier in dialogue with relevant local authority and government officials about the provision of services for new developments
  • Travel plans for any new developments are monitored to ensure they are effectively implemented.

Committee Convenor Patrick Harvie MSP said: “The relationship between transport and land use planning policies, and between those who work in those areas, is crucial. Sustainable transport networks need to be at the very centre of all new developments to provide good access to communities and help lower transport emissions.

“Both the Sustainable Development Commission and the Committee on Climate Change have been clear this week that transport policy needs to change if the much vaunted climate change targets are to be met. Better planning is a crucial part of that change, and it should be happening now.”

“The committee’s inquiry found concern about how the principles of the existing transport and land use planning framework are implemented. The Scottish Government should take the lead in guiding and assisting planning authorities in their work, and to highlight the need for more effective integration of these policy areas.”

Background information

The committee inquiry considered:

  • the nature and extent of the current relationship between transport and land use planning policies
  • the scope to further integrate these policies
  • the benefits that further integration could deliver in terms of sustainable economic growth and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

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