There are several Scottish Government online consultations currently open, which are of direct relevance to rural and island communities.

Consultations are an important part of government policy development, where views and insights garnered are used by policy areas to develop and inform policies that in turn can be progressed into new Bills or Laws.  Online consultations are a key tool in supporting this activity.

Rest and Be Thankful Public Engagement Events

Public engagement events on the long-term solution at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful are being held from 18 to 21 March at four venues across Argyll and Bute.

The events will provide local communities and road users with the opportunity to meet the designers, as well as view and comment on the design development and the progress towards delivering the medium-term improvements along the Old Military Road (OMR).

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Fiona Hyslop said:

Improved Transport - Minibus for Rugby Club
Name of organisation/business: 
Carrick Rugby Football Club
£6111.12 - Community Led local Development - Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition (ARIA) – Small Capital Fund (2022/23)

Scottish Rural and Islands Transport Community (SRITC) has recently completed the 'Scottish Rural and Island Parliament - Transport Forum Report', which reflects on the insightful transport workshop organised by SRITC at the Scottish Rural & Islands Parliament in November 2023.

Scottish Forestry is investing £2 million towards timber transport projects across Scotland. The funding will help decarbonise the forestry sector and reduce the impacts of timber lorries on communities and the environment.  


A strategic plan to improve the reliability and resilience of transport links for island communities has been published.

On behalf of Transport Scotland, Energy Saving Trust are conducting a research project exploring the viability of using independent petrol forecourts as sites for EV charging infrastructure in rural areas.

The Scottish Government has agreed in principle to fund the further development of the business case to investigate replacing the internal ferry fleet in Orkney.

The agreement was reached during today’s meeting of the Orkney Internal Ferry Replacement Task Force, which took place in Edinburgh and was chaired by the Deputy First Minister.

The Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament (SRIP) is an important opportunity for voice of rural and island communities to help reinforce the importance of local democracy and to help shape the emerging Rural Delivery Plan. The theme of this year’s SRIP was Village Halls and Community Spaces.

Priority actions to deepen and strengthen co-operation between the Scottish Government and business have been unveiled.

A new implementation plan details how recommendations from the New Deal for Business Group will be taken forward over the next 18 months to improve policy preparation and delivery and build a wellbeing economy.