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Maritime policy in Scotland

Baird, Alfred J.; Baird, Alfred


Alfred J. Baird

Alfred Baird


This paper begins by defining the meaning of the term `maritime policy'. Since devolution in the UK, the opening of the new Scottish parliament in 1998 and the creation of the Scottish Executive, little effort has been made to establish a distinct maritime policy for Scotland. As was evident prior to devolution, the primary emphasis from any maritime policy perspective has continued to be a focus on lifeline island ferry services. This ignores significant developments in several other key maritime transport sectors, and this paper provides examples of areas that require some form of policy response, including intra-European short sea shipping, UK coastal shipping, urban/river transport and global container shipping. Long-standing institutional bias against maritime transport coupled with subsidy devoted almost entirely to land transport systems has resulted in a quite distorted marketplace. This suggests that a maritime policy is now imperative if maritime transport is to play a more significant role in the overall transport system. Further discussion centres on the need to consider, from a Scottish policy perspective, the role of various state-sponsored maritime service providers and how these bodies might fit better within evolving policy. The conclusion is that formulation of a maritime policy by the Scottish Executive is overdue and that a degree of restructuring of transport responsibilities within the Executive, combined with adequate resource allocation towards the maritime industry, will be necessary in order that market distortions can be overcome, so enabling Scotland to fully exploit the competitive and environmental advantages that maritime transport can provide.


Baird, A. J., & Baird, A. (2005). Maritime policy in Scotland. Maritime Policy and Management, 32(4), 383-401.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2005-10
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2008
Print ISSN 0308-8839
Electronic ISSN 1464-5254
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 4
Pages 383-401
Keywords Shipping policy; Scotland; Ferry service priority; European opportunities; Coastal shipping; European short crossing services; Global container shipping; Scottish transport policy;
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