Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Còmhdhail Alba) was created on 1 January 2006 as the national transport agency of Scotland. It is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government and accountable to Scottish Ministers.

Transport Scotland
Còmhdhail Alba
Executive Agency overview
Formed1 January 2006
HeadquartersBuchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HF
Annual budget£2.4 billion (2018)
Minister responsible
Executive Agency executive
  • Roy Brannen, Chief Executive
WebsiteTransport Scotland


Transport Scotland’s overall purpose is to support and advise Scottish Ministers on strategy and policy options for transport in Scotland, and increase sustainable economic growth through the development of national transport projects.

Their core working principles are to:

  • strive to continuously improve our activities in transport delivery, both nationally and internationally
  • promote transport integration
  • support transition to active and more sustainable forms of transport
  • maintain a clear outward focus on the needs of transport users
  • work in partnership with transport providers, communities and wider government in our planning and delivery
  • make the most efficient use of public resources, and equip our staff to do the best possible job.

The agency is made up of eight directorates.

Aviation, Maritime, Freight and Canals

Promotes Scotland’s international connectivity and transport links to our remote and island communities, and responsible for:

  • project delivery, operational performance and policy development
  • aviation, ferries and canals
  • maritime interest including ports, harbours, and freight
  • looking after Scottish Ministers’ interests in Glasgow Prestwick Airport, David MacBrayne Limited, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, Highland and Island Airports Limited, and Scottish Canals.

Bus, Accessibility & Active Travel

Responsible for the Scottish Government’s policy relating to bus, active travel, smart and integrated ticketing and accessible travel, including:

  • enabling local authorities, operators and delivery partners to improve sustainable, accessible local transport options and get the travelling public back on the buses
  • promoting walking, cycling and wheeling
  • operating the concessionary bus travel scheme for disabled, older and young people
  • working with operators to ensure all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be ticketed or paid for using smart technologies
  • supporting the Mobility and Access Committee and the Active Nation Commissioner in their work to provide independent advice to Ministers.

Finance and Corporate Services

Supports the operation and governance of Transport Scotland, including:

  • providing core services and advice in the Finance, Human Resources, Learning and Development, Information governance, IT, Facilities, Health and Safety, TS Secretariat and Communications areas
  • a leading role on a range of corporate governance functions including risk management, the operation of the Audit and Risk Committee and corporate reporting requirements.

Low Carbon Economy

Responsible for creating the strategic framework to coordinate the decarbonisation of Scotland’s transport system, including:

  • leading the Scottish Government’s mission to remove the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032
  • delivering strategically coordinated investment in the charging network that reduces the need for electricity network upgrades and supports wider energy and transport system benefits
  • promoting the uptake of ULEVs across public and private fleets while supporting wider sustainable transport outcomes
  • harnessing Scotland’s world class research and innovation expertise to support the expansion of low carbon transport and supply chains
  • supporting sectors transition toward a low carbon transport system, including through skills development.

Major Projects

Responsible for design, development, procurement and construction of major trunk road improvement projects across Scotland, alongside:

  • leading and advising on procurement and contract management matters for Transport Scotland
  • contributing to our ambition to become a Centre of Excellence for the delivery of major projects.


Responsible for Scotland’s rail policy and delivery, including:

  • managing the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper rail franchises
  • developing rail policy and strategic planning, including aligning it with wider social and economic policy
  • delivering major projects alongside industry partners
  • promoting and investing in the development of sustainable rail freight
  • managing economic regulation of the railways, and monitoring and advising on the affordability of the rail programme.


Responsible for:

  • the safe operation and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network
  • roads policy
  • road safety, including oversight of progress towards national casualty reduction targets
  • Intelligent Transport Systems and lighting
  • resilience, winter maintenance and transport planning of major events
  • roads and bridges design standards
  • air quality and the environment including climate change adaptation and asset management.

Strategy & Analysis

Responsible for transport strategy and integration, transport futures, transport analysis and strategic transport planning, including:

  • developing the successor national transport strategy and setting transport investment priorities to support Scotland’s Economic Strategy
  • analytical research and evaluation
  • transport appraisal and modelling
  • transport and land use planning
  • publishing national transport statistics to support evidence based policy
  • the Transport (Scotland) Bill
  • transport preparation for EU Exit
  • climate change policy and transport's contribution to the Scottish Government Climate Change plan
  • transport policy integration
  • transport futures
  • transport governance including sponsorship of Regional Transport Partnerships, the Scottish Roadworks Commissioner, and transport components of City and Regional Growth deals.

Traffic Scotland

Through the Traffic Scotland service, Transport Scotland provides a public service that aims to deliver safe and reliable trunk roads. The focus of Traffic Scotland is to minimise the effects of congestion, breakdowns and unforeseen events on the trunk road network. The Traffic Scotland service delivers traveller information for the Scottish Trunk Road network through a process of 'monitor, control and inform'.

  • Monitor: The Traffic Scotland service monitors the network using CCTV, roadside hardware, communication with the police, weather forecasts and major event management services.
  • Control: All information collected through the monitoring process is processed within the Traffic Scotland Control Centre. The Traffic Scotland Control Centre operates 24 hours a day to ensure that traffic and travel information disseminated as part of the Traffic Scotland service is accurate.
  • Inform: Traffic and travel information processed by the Traffic Scotland Control Centre is then disseminated via the Traffic Scotland service, including the Traffic Scotland website, the Traffic Customer Care Line, the Traffic Scotland mobile website, the Traffic Scotland Information Kiosks, road side Variable Message Signs (VMS) and via the multiple Traffic Scotland data services available to public, corporate and media users.

Traffic Scotland also provide Freight Information which is a real-time traffic information website aimed at logistics operators and HGV drivers operating in Scotland. This section of their site provides the same functionality with some additional freight related information and web-links.

In November 2016 they introduced a real-time service to allow drivers to track which roads had been gritted in the form of the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker.

Regional Transport Partnerships

The role of Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) is to strengthen the planning and delivery of regional transport developments.

The first task of each RTP was to prepare a regional transport strategy. This is supported by a delivery plan where RTPs set out when and how projects and proposals would be delivered.

Some RTPs are also responsible for the delivery of transport services. In particular Strathclyde Partnership for Transport owns and operates the Glasgow subway and major bus stations across the west of Scotland.

The seven RTPs are:

See also


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