Swedish and Scottish National Transport Policy and Spend: A Social Equity Analysis

Tom Rye and Anders Wretstrand 29 March 2019
The topic of social equity in transport planning has been dealt with, in particular, by authors such as Martens (2012) and Martens and Golob (2012) using a social justice based-approach. However, such an approach, whilst valuable and analytically rigorous (based as it is on accessibility modelling), does not consider a wide range of possible other social impacts of transport, as set out in a framework first put forward by Geurs et al. (2009). This paper uses Geurs’ analytical framework to consider two empirical case studies: The National Transport Strategy for Scotland, adopted in January 2016, together with associated national level spending plans; and Sweden’s 2014–2025 National Transport Plan. The paper will first summarise the contents of each document before analysing them in relation to the categories of social impact that Geurs (2009) identifies, and assess how, in relation to each category of impact, various social groups will benefit or disbenefit. A range of projects (planned) to be delivered by the two national strategies is then analysed in relation to the criteria. This analysis shows that the two national strategies/plans are in their distribution of spending, and the projects funded are generally working away from greater social equity in their distributional impacts.

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