Transport is an essential part of everyday life for the people of the Scottish Borders. The Council is responsible for planning the improvement and development of transport. To do this we undertake studies and develop strategies and plans.
Local access and transport strategy
The local access and transport strategy (LATS) will be a key document for the Scottish Borders, setting out what we consider to be the key transport and access issues affecting the area, along with the our proposed approach to these issues. The LATS will replace the previous local transport strategy, published in 2008.
The Main Issues Report was the basis for consultation on the LATS, and ran to 23 October 2015. We will now report to Council to consider the public response and to agree the proposed strategy approach.
Regional transport strategy
The Regional Transport Strategy for the South East of Scotland is prepared by SEStran, which the Scottish Borders is a member of. The Strategy lays out the strategic vision for transport development in south east Scotland up to 2028.
In 2012, we commissioned a traffic study to consider a range of options to help address the traffic issues which may arise in Peebles as the town continues to grow in the future.
Traffic study 2012
The study found that the capacity of Tweed Bridge could be reached over the next few years. This could act as a constraint on economic development in the town and encourage localised traffic congestion throughout the town centre.
A total of eight potential new bridge options were considered. Each was appraised in terms of set planning objectives and Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) criteria. Other measures were considered, but only a new crossing was seen to meet the long term development needs of the town.
The results of the appraisal process were that three bridge options (B3, B7 and B8), outlined in the Peebles Transport Study, will provide the best balance in terms of meeting the objectives of the study.
Additional consultation exercise
Following approval at the Environmental and Infrastructure Committee, we organised an additional consultation exercise to try and gauge public opinion, especially in relation to the three bridge options that were taken forward (B3, B7 and B8).
The consultation exercise was undertaken in two parts. Firstly, a workshop was organised in Peebles with various public bodies and community groups in early October 2013 to discuss the proposals in more detail. The workshop was facilitated by an independent consultant and was deemed to be successful with a number of views being raised on the night. A brief summary of the event written by the independent consultant is also available.
Secondly, a three month public consultation exercise in the form of a questionnaire was held between November 2013 and January 2014.