Regional transport strategies
Section 5: Formulation and content of regional transport strategies
26.Section 5(1) places a duty on each Transport Partnership to draw up a transport strategy for its region. These strategies will focus on transport within the region but should also, in line with section 5(2)(d)(vii), take into account transport to and from the region.
27.Section 5(2) outlines the matters that the Transport Partnerships should include in their strategies. Section 5(2)(a) requires the strategy to include an assessment of what needs to be done to provide, develop and improve transport in the region, subject to constraints of cost, funding and practicability. Section 5(2)(e) requires the strategy to prioritise the different services, schemes and projects of provision, development and improvement that emanate from section 5(2)(a). Under section 5(2)(f) the strategy must describe how the Transport Partnership will use those functions that have already been conferred upon it to fulfil the strategy. It must also identify those other functions, if any, that the Transport Partnership needs in order to fulfil the strategy. Under section 5(2)(h) the strategy must consider how progress towards the objectives is to be measured and monitored. The Scottish Ministers may, under section 5(3), issue guidance about transport strategies and the Transport Partnerships are under a duty to have regard to that guidance and to any current national transport strategy established by the Scottish Ministers.
28.Section 5(4) provides that equal opportunities and equal opportunity requirements are as defined in the Scotland Act 1998. In that Act “equal opportunities” means the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions. The Scotland Act 1998 also states that “equal opportunity requirements" means the requirements of the law for the time being relating to equal opportunities.
Section 6: Procedure before and after the drawing up of regional transport strategies
29.Section 6 places a duty on each Transport Partnership to submit its transport strategy to the Scottish Ministers. Section 6(1)(b) sets the deadlines for this; for the first set of strategies, produced by the Partnerships to be created by 31 March 2006, the strategies must be completed by 31 March 2007. In any other case the deadline is within 12 months of the establishment of the Partnership. The timing of subsequent strategies is covered by section 7. In line with section 6(1)(a), before submitting the strategy the Transport Partnership must consult its constituent councils, each Health Board covered wholly or partly by the region and other persons as it thinks fit.
30.Section 6(2) enables each Transport Partnership to request, within 8 months of their creation, an extension to the 12 month time limit to produce its regional transport strategy. Prior to granting an extension, the Scottish Ministers have the power at section 6(3) to require Transport Partnerships to produce reports or documentation which might, for instance, include details of progress made to date.
31.Under section 6(4) the transport strategy becomes effective when it is approved by the Scottish Ministers and when deciding, under section 6(5), whether to approve the strategy the Scottish Ministers will assess, amongst other factors, the extent to which it will assist with the realisation of their own transport policies.
32.Section 6(7)(c) places a duty on the Transport Partnerships to publish their completed strategies.
Section 7: Review, modification and renewal of regional transport strategies
33.Under section 7(1) each Transport Partnership must keep its strategy under review and may modify it or draw up a new one. The Scottish Ministers may direct any Transport Partnership to draw up a new strategy within such a period as they may specify. Subsection (2) applies certain of the provisions of sections 5 and 6 apply to modifying a strategy and the drawing up of a new one as they apply to the preparation of an existing strategy.
Section 8: Duty of constituent councils and other public bodies as respects regional transport strategies
34.Section 8 obliges constituent councils to perform their transport-related functions consistently with the transport strategy of the Transport Partnership for their area. Health Boards will also be placed under a duty to perform their functions and activities consistently with the transport strategy or transport strategies specified by the Scottish Ministers. The same duty can be placed on other public bodies as specified by order.
Section 9: Joint regional transport strategies
35.Section 9 enables two or more Transport Partnerships to produce a joint transport strategy for their combined regions. Under section 9(2) a joint transport strategy is to be subject to all the same provisions in Part 1 that apply to a transport strategy.