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Transport infrastructure and services: industry views


The Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy identifies transport as one of the key factors in promoting economic growth in those sectors identified as having significant growth potential: energy, financial and business services, food and drink, life sciences, tourism, and the creative industries. The study aimed to: gain a better understanding of how businesses in these key sectors view the current level of transport infrastructure and services; identify how businesses use transport infrastructure and services; and determine how well they meet business needs and where they act as a constraint.


The methodology consisted of: a literature review, a series of structured telephone interviews with key stakeholders and a telephone survey of businesses across Scotland. A review of the existing literature on businesses’ perceptions of the transport infrastructure in Scotland was conducted. Ten 30 minute telephone interviews were conducted with key stakeholders from the identified growth sectors and four with general business representative organisations. A telephone survey of 1,700 businesses across Scotland was undertaken using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) employing a pre-prepared questionnaire.


A majority of respondents mentioned the cost of fuel as a key issue with the remaining top ten responses relating to the road network, traffic congestion, poor road conditions and excessive roadworks. The key considerations for businesses when choosing between alternative modes of transport were reliability and cost. The rail network and air travel services received the highest rating, followed by the trunk road network, local public transport and water-based transport respectively. None of the networks were rated as very good by more than a quarter of respondents with just 8% identifying local roads in this category. Respondents said that transport infrastructure and services are an important consideration when choosing a location, with access to the trunk road network, proximity to public transport, proximity to rail links and proximity to bus links respectively having the most bearing on the location/relocation decision-making choice. Almost half of respondents said that IT has reduced work-related journeys. Businesses have adopted ‘greener’ transport policies, including the preferential use of local suppliers, home working and promoting public transport usage in marketing materials. Larger businesses are more likely than smaller ones to adopt greener transport policies.


None made.

Author Ispos MORI; Steer Davies Gleave
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Energy, Food and drink, Financial and business services, Life Sciences, Tourism