Debate: Paying for Better Transport

STSG is currently preparing a paper about how we pay for transport in Scotland. We want to look at the funding options to grow transport investment.

Please add your thoughts here to contribute to the online debate. Alternatively please e-mail us at

We are looking at:

  1. Direct payments for Scotland’s transport – vehicle purchases, user charges, fares, taxes on vehicles and fuel, developer contributions, air passenger duty, VAT on taxi fares and parking, and other payments made by users of transport.
  2. Indirect payments for Scotland’s transport and how they relate to the direct payments.
  3. The factors affecting direct and indirect payments. What would encourage any of these purchasers pay more to gain greater priority for particular investments – e.g. higher speeds, place making/streetscape improvements, etc.

The Scottish Government November 2013 White Paper on Scottish Independence suggests an investigation of the benefits of introducing a Fuel Duty Regulator mechanism which could be made to work alongside a Scottish Energy Fund so any views on how this might work would be particularly welcomed as a contribution to the debate.

Our aim is to complete a first draft of the report in 2013 with a view to publication in Spring 2014 so inputs by 15 December would be appreciated.

1 Comment

  • There is a lack of efficient purchasing opportunities for better transport. This contributes to an underfunded, socially divisive, and lower quality transport system than Scotland could have. New ways are needed to tackle the unstable and growing gap between willingness to pay and acceptability of transport delivery.

    Consumers are the largest purchasers of transport and are spending more on travel each year to pay for air travel, car purchase, taxi fares, parking, bus fares and train tickets. Businesses and agencies are also large purchasers to meet their staff travel costs, freight needs, and to support new infrastructure investment from new development. Less than 10% of transport investment comes from government but government sets the rules for most transport purchasing and provides the critical networks and infrastructure that enable all of the other spending. Although government expenditure is set to fall a clearer focus on the enabling role of government could lever increase spending by consumers and businesses on efficient transport solutions.

    People and businesses might want to pay more for higher quality transport with faster journeys, better experiences and wider network coverage. there are also benefits of being able to invest in transport to save in other business spending areas.

    Transport also offers attractive investment opportunities and there is potential for better use of existing revenue streams to lever secure long term investments in infrastructure and services.

    To enable this additional spending new types of product are needed with integrated, pay as you go opportunities nudging people to make Scotland’s transport system as good as it could be.

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