Digital Innovations Continue to Help Deliver Scotland’s Vision for Transport: TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023 Retrospective


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Fiona Hyslop was appointed as the Scottish Government’s new Minister for Transport in June 2023, supporting the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Màiri McAllan.

We were delighted to welcome Ms Hislop to TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023 to present the opening keynote and explain how Scotland is making “significant, pioneering and world leading progress to achieve a Just Transition to net zero, by embracing technology, innovation and data, so that everyone can benefit”.

“Scotland has a dynamic and innovative technology sector and digital mobility innovations continue”, she highlighted, “to play a vital role in delivering a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system.

By supporting enhanced travel data and journey planning, including digital Mobility as a Service apps, and through improvements in smart ticketing payments and technology, fare freezes on our ferry networks and the fantastic uptake of our Young Persons Free Bus Travel scheme, we are working to make sustainable travel choices the preferred option for all.

I want Scotland to continue to be at the forefront in the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, and our support for Project CAVForth (one of a number of innovative projects outlined in her speech) demonstrates our belief that a modern transport system is fundamental to sustainable and inclusive economic growth”.  

Laura McCaig, MaaS Delivery Manager at Transport Scotland (and a previous keynote speaker at our 2021 Scotland edition), was also in attendance as the official support for the Minister at this event. We thank Laura for her invaluable contributions during the subsequent roundtable sessions and networking discussions.

Summary notes from Ms Hyslop’s opening keynote speech:

  • Funded Mobility as a Service projects – 5 x MaaS projects across Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to Tayside and South East Scotland;
  • Ensuring trusted information is readily available – National Digital Travel Data Services project to enhance the data system behind Traveline Scotland and support Bus Open Data: “a single trusted source of travel data”;
  • Improvements in Smart Ticketing and Payments – Positive impact of the Smart Pay Grant Fund – 98% of buses in Scotland now accept contactless ticketing; thanks to provision in the Transport Act, “we are improving the governance and framework of of smart and integrated ticketing in Scotland across modes and operators” and establishing the “pioneering National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board (NSTAB)”;
  • Connected and Autonomous Vehicles development – Including Project CAVForth (between Fife and Edinburgh) and HITRANS’ CAV trials at Inverness college;
  • Air Quality – Impacts of poor air quality on the most vulnerable in society;

  • Further Transport Decarbonisation measures helping Scotland to meet its statutory emission targets and demonstrating the Scottish Government’s commitment to a Just Transition to net zero – Roll-out of LEZs; the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS); Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB); Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit Programme (BEAR); EV charging infrastructure support; developing roadmap and tool kit to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030;
  • Embedding Sustainable Travel behaviours – Uptake of over 84 million journeys through the Young Persons’ (under 22s) Free Bus Travel scheme;
  • Transport’s critical role in underpinning and enabling the vital access to work, leisure, healthcare and education for everybody in Scotland;
  • Early successes of MaaS investment projects – Tactran’s Go NHS Tayside, for example.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Riddle’s Court, Edinburgh, for the live in-person event on September 7th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage from Ms Hyslop’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023

On September 7th we will be casting a spotlight over Scotland, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the city-regions of Glasgow & Clyde Valley, Edinburgh & South East Scotland, Stirling, Tay, Aberdeen, Inverness & Highlands, and beyond.


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