Practical Phased Implementation

What is already happening

Planning sustainable transport is not new but some approaches have worked better than others. This preparation of this plan has included a review of all existing transport projects and programmes to allow current actions to be more closely aligned with the new national and local goals and targets. The consultation responses during 2021 included many suggestions of ways projects and programmes could be modified to improve their effectiveness.

The tables below propose ways of enhancing the programmes to help achieve sustainable transport goals. For these priority projects the principle that the Council should take action is well established, and the new plans seek improved implementation approaches to overcome identified problems and barriers.

ProjectCurrent Emissions ReductionAccelerating Action Towards Zero Emissions
Information and communicationNational data on transport emissions in West Dunbartonshire shows little reductionA new call to action is needed with regular monitoring and reporting to communicate when action to reduce emissions is successful to build confidence and trust in successful approaches.
Development planningAssessment of transport impacts of development proposals reveal that the net impact of new development is unsustainable and new approaches are neededCommitments are needed in new development planning policies to ensure all development planning such as new homes and offices contribute to improving the sustainability of West Dunbartonshire in line with the requirements of the new National Planning Framework
Closing the opportunity gapCouncil equality impact assessments show where opportunity gaps have been identified and are being tackled, but emissions impacts of these are not yet clearCompare access to opportunity for all groups and introduce more equitable approaches to transport programmes, particularly on topics of current concern such as equitable parking provision and enforcement, accessible streets and public transport coverage
Accessible walkable “20 minute” neighbourhoodsMonitoring of the emissions reduction still being plannedDevelop new community partnerships with service providers, including offering more services through Council service points and supporting innovation in local supply chain management to improve the quality of local retail services
Safe routes to rail stationsWest Dunbartonshire has a relatively high use of electrified rail services helping to reduce car emissionsA more clearly managed and accountable programme for improving the performance of routes to stations, to ensure integrated connections from rail stations fully meet community needs
Plan access to employment and facilitiesThe Council has been improving and expanding ICT solutions to enable more remote working. Cycle friendly employer scheme and provision of cycles to improce access to cycling are reported to have encouraged some people to cycle rather than driveThe Council will offer new incentives to encourage all employers, including all parts of the Council and its business partners, to demonstrate their commitment to the net-zero goals by developing travel plans for staff, customers and goods that measure the emissions footprint of activities.
Planning and managing safe travel to schoolSome schools have participated in planning school travel and cycle friendly employer schemes but there has been limited monitoring to identify impacts and consultation suggests that many barriers to safe non-car travel remainTravel plans prepared by the pupils, parents and staff at every school enabling local management and monitoring of plans and progress towards safe zero-emission access to schools  
Strengthening Emission Reduction on Existing Projects  – Travelling Less
ProjectCurrent Emissions ReductionAccelerating Action Towards Zero Emissions
Management of transport infrastructure and assets for planned net-zeroStatutory carbon accounts for Council being developed under 2021 action planReport carbon account for all roads, car parks, street lighting and other transport infrastructure as part of annual Climate Change Action Group monitoring
Facilities for electric vehicles (EV) including chargingElectric vehicle use growing with use of all charging points being monitoredEV industry is now growing rapidly and the role of the Council is shifting from provision of facilities for early adopters to enabling good coverage and fair provision through partnerships with a range of providers.
Replacing the Council vehicle fleet with electric vehicles  Replacement of Council fleet vehicles with EVs well underwayPhase out petrol/diesel vehicle purchase as soon as possible and well before the legal deadline of 2025 and replace all fleet vehicles with electric vehicles by 2030.
Shared electric vehicle provision in car clubsSome use of peer to peer car clubs is helping to reduce demand for private carsEnable comprehensive provision of shared vehicles in car clubs to ensure fair access to electric vehicles
Bus service improvement partnerships (BSIPs)Electrification of most public bus services is well underway with the prospects of most bus services being zero emission by perhaps as early as 2024.Align Council transport goals with bus operation through new BSIPS, to ensure agreed terms of operation for all bus services to achieve equitable, sustainable network coverage
Taxi and private hire licensingNo specific emissions criteria in current licensing requirementsAgree targets and timescales with taxi industry for phasing out licensing of vehicles which are not zero emission and procure all Council taxi and private hire travel in zero-emissions vehicles.
Strengthening Emission Reduction on Existing Projects  – Zero emission travel
ProjectCurrent Emissions ReductionAccelerating Action Towards Zero Emissions
Connected high quality path networkPath investment and maintenance helps to support more active travel with reports from some users of being able to use cars less   A comprehensive network of largely off road routes connecting every community is needed to enable attractive cycling and other emerging micro-mobility travel options including e-scooters.
Road safety planMonitoring active travel casualties and taking action on identified problemsUpdate road safety plan consistent with Scottish Government’s new systems approach to road safety recognising that active travellers are disproportionately at risk
Strengthening Emission Reduction on Existing Projects  – Active Travel

Further details about all of these projects with proposed management arrangements and targets are shown at Appendix B.

Potential new projects

In addition to the development and improvement of existing Council programmes some new approaches are also needed. The table below identifies five new programmes emerging from the consultation processes in 2021. The need for further projects and programmes will continue to be reviewed regularly by the Climate Change Action Group.

ProjectGap in Service Delivery being ClosedContribution Towards Zero Emissions
Monitoring and managing access to opportunityAlthough access to local services is reported regularly through the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Accessibility Statistics, there is no systematic local programme to take action when access declines.If access is allowed to continue to decline there is a requirement for more travel. A new planned approach can reverse this decline by tacking problems when they emerge through partnerships to support local service provision and better local transport connections
Local transport hubsThe development of local hubs is currently left to private companies resulting in a more fragmented, less comprehensive and less inclusive approach than is sustainableEach person should have a local anchor location a short walk from their house where they can connect efficiently with the strategic transport system for collection and distribution of parcels and access shared transport services such as car clubs and shared bikes.
Performance management for the active travel networksLocal people report long delays in repairs to paths and there is no readily accessible public data on performance standards for the active travel networksNew service level promises to citizens for dealing with problems on the active travel networks will be implemented.
Low traffic neighbourhoodsCommunity based approaches to make better use of street space have not developed widely so action is needed to prompt new approaches to redesigning streets for active travel.Seek proposals from local communities for their streets to be designated as school streets, play streets and home zones and work with funding partners to implement the community proposals.
Incentive, reward and support schemesLocal schemes are needed to give recognition and support to all those contributing to sustainable transport goals.Introduce recognition scheme for local service providers and employers that offer benefits for people who travel actively and accreditation for groups providing services to active travellers
Introducing New Council Transport Projects for Emission Reduction

Longer term goals

Some actions to reduce emissions to net zero will take longer. The largest single component of land based transport emissions at present (with no optimised solution) is for emission free heavy vehicle transport. There are promising solutions emerging for zero emission heavy vehicle transport based on:

  • Hydrogen powered vehicles – There is an extensive infrastructure already available for liquid refuelling for diesel vehicles that could potentially be repurposed for hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen refuelling solutions have more limited prospects for becoming competitive for light vehicle transport in the near future, but with the higher cost base associated with goods vehicles hydrogen gives better prospects for viable operation, particularly from about 2030 onwards. Currently there are trial operations of hydrogen vehicles in many countries and over the next decade these could become more mature and economic for more widespread implementation.
  • Battery electric power supplemented with overhead electric cable systems on major roads – There are mature technologies available with electric overhead cable systems (catenary) for rail, tram and trolley bus that could be applied more widely on the roads. The current trial systems in Germany involve catenary systems on a small proportion of the road network (largely motorways) used for long distance trips allowing heavy good vehicles to charge as they travel but with on-board batteries on the vehicles for when the goods vehicles leave these long distance roads and need to travel under their own power for the last 40 or 50 miles.

20 years ago it was starting to become clear for light vehicles such as cars and vans that battery electric vehicles would be more competitive than hydrogen, and over the last 10 years, manufacturers have been scaling up so that battery electric cars will soon dominate new car sales. It will also take time to refine the optimal technologies for heavy vehicles through the development of the current trials over the next 10 years, before a mainsteam wider roll out from 2030. The Council must therefore wait longer before implementing zero-emission technologies for heavy vehicles, but also be prepared to participate in national trials over the next decade to support early implementation of pilot operation.

There may also be changes in the balance between land based transport and air transport over the next decade. Currently air transport is not included in the transport services predominantly under the oversight of Local Authorities, but that could change as drone transport grows from the current pilot operation. Local Authorities might need to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to plan flight routes for small zero emission aircraft as these grow in popularity.

At present drones are used largely for high value freight such as medical samples that might otherwise have been transported by courier. Drones powered by batteries offer emission free alternatives with potentially faster, cheaper and lower emission outcomes. Some food delivery companies are also piloting drones for similar reasons, and residents of West Dunbartonshire could potentially be getting their pizzas delivered in emission free drones within a few years.

Whilst pilots of these new technologies are underway, the detailed actions required by the Council are not yet clear. However, tourists seeking zero emission holidays to Loch Lomond could potentially be arriving in an electric aeroplane from a nearby European airport within 10 years and seeking onwards electric air travel to parts of West Dunbartonshire. The Council will seek to ensure that the roll out of any new technologies for personal air transport can demonstrate clear positive impacts for local people with support for inclusive, efficient sustainable new approaches.