Scotland Policy Conferences

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at or by calling the above number.

The new National Transport Strategy (NTS2) - assessing the strategy and addressing the challenges for implementation

December 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference focuses on the final National Transport Strategy 2 (NTS2).

Delegates will examine key issues for implementation and next steps for delivery - including the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on planning and implementation.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with a range of key policy officials who are due to attend from The Scottish Government; Transport Scotland; the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner; the DfT; and the ORR; as well as parliamentary pass-holders from The Scottish Parliament.

The agenda:

  • The NTS2 and next steps for meeting key objectives - transport modernisation, design of projects, and achieving inclusivity and growth
  • Applying the Strategy locally - engagement with passengers and the needs of rural communities, regional connectivity, and delivering safe services during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Placing the environment at the centre of transport planning - emissions, air quality, and preserving landscapes
  • Priorities for tackling the delivery challenges for new transport infrastructure in Scotland
    • Towards net zero transport infrastructure: to build or not to build?
    • Planning for future transport needs, tackling congestion, and ensuring transport networks are fit for purpose in cities and other built environments
    • Preparing Scotland for electric vehicles capacity - rolling out charging capabilities, connection to the grid, and ensuring rural regions are not left behind
    • Incorporating best practice in the delivery of transport projects, and working with the policy and regulatory framework
  • Expanding healthy forms of transport and improving health and wellbeing throughout Scotland

Areas for discussion:

  • NTS2 - how objectives and priorities in National Transport Strategy 2 can be achieved:
    • transport modernisation - assessing Scotland’s transport system needs, addressing deficiencies in travel access and options, project design, and engagement with development stakeholders
    • serving Scottish communities - tackling health and access inequalities, increasing connections between rural areas and employment centres, and supporting rural businesses and economies
    • meeting passengers priorities - supporting journey affordability, adapting to changing passenger and commuter preferences, and growing intermodal options for transport connectivity
  • City Region Deals - their role in delivering transport improvement strategies, including road and public transport infrastructure capacity, and increasing connectivity between cities
  • services - next steps for improvement and returning to normal services in the future, whilst preserving measures around safety:
    • public confidence and safety - latest thinking on implementing social distancing and other safety precautions
    • service availability - ensuring safe, reliable transport access is available, including meeting the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable passengers
  • investment and finance, potential sources of funding for transport during and after the pandemic, and the role of the private sector - as decarbonisation of transport is identified as a key opportunity area in the Scottish Government’s recently published Inward Investment Plan
  • infrastructure - ensuring the network can meet future needs:
    • new infrastructure - tackling engineering and other challenges for development in preparing Scotland’s transport infrastructure for future pressures and opportunities 
    • legacy assets - priorities for further development of Scotland’s existing transport network, and ensuring rail and road capacity is prepared for growing passenger and freight demand
    • delivery - working with the regulatory regime, addressing project barriers, partnership working with key and local stakeholders, and strategies for reducing project costs
    • futureproofing - preparing the transport network expected growth in electric vehicle use, including strategic rural, suburban and city locations for charging infrastructure
  • health, wellbeing and the environment - the role of the transport network as it develops in maintaining and improving healthy lives in Scotland:
    • decarbonisation - assessing steps for ensuring new modes of transport are low-carbon and present minimal damage to the environment
    • contribution to society - opportunities for transport in improving social cohesion and reducing poverty and ensuring a healthier transport system and environment leads to greater wellbeing
    • active travel - expanding options in Scotland, including walking and cycling facilities, clearer information on travel routes and options, and making healthy transport more attractive
    • air quality - accelerating the transition to low-carbon forms of transport across the system, options for emissions limits, and improving access to green spaces
    • just transition - managing the net-zero transition in a way that protects sections of society where change presents risks such as falling into poverty or other forms of disadvantage

A scan of key developments:

  • Scotland’s National Transport Strategy 2 - which outlines a vision for the development of the national transport system over the next 20 years - including around improving rural, suburban and city connectivity, addressing health and wellbeing challenges, decarbonising the network, and ensuring transport enhancements support economic growth
    • New action to improve air quality - the draft Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 strategy, with consultation on shifting to more sustainable modes of transport
  • spending priorities - the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee calling on the Government to develop a revised financial strategy for the transport sector, and asking for priorities in the Budget for 2021-22 to reflect Scotland’s net-zero ambition, together with changes in transport use due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan - from Transport Scotland, aiming to drive innovation, skilled employment and growth, including a modal shift to rail and removing diesel passenger trains
  • City Region Deals - and their objectives around delivering tailored investments for specific priorities, such as developing city-wide infrastructure and local economies
  • Scottish Budget 2020-2021 - including over £1bn for developing low-carbon infrastructure, active travel facilities, and improved services for rail, road and buses
  • Key findings report: A blueprint for Scotland - Infrastructure Commission for Scotland recommendations for the development of Scotland’s critical infrastructure - including ensuring that the transport system alleviates congestion and capacity issues and meets decarbonisation and net zero aims, and coordinated delivery involving local governments and delivery partners
  • Further relevant reports and interventions:
    • the Just Transition Commission Interim Report - outlining ways in which social and climate goals can be achieved through transition plans, and ensuring rural areas are not left behind
    • The Environment Strategy for Scotland: vision and outcomes - setting a long-term vision for protecting and restoring the environment, while also coordinating efforts with adjacent strategies like the NTS2

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from The Scottish Parliament, and officials from The Scottish Government; Transport Scotland; the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner; the Department for Transport; and the Office of Rail and Road.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles