Active Travel Task Force


The Active Travel Task Force aims to look at tackling local barriers to the delivery of ambitious cycling and walking projects in Scotland.

As part of this, we asked for written evidence on what people see as the barriers to achieving this aim by 10 March 2017.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf MSP announced his intention to set up an Active Travel Task Force at the Active Travel Summit on Wednesday 2 November 2016.


  • Draft recommendations sent to the Minister before Christmas 2017.
  • A report will be published in early 2018.


Issues to be considered

This is likely to include (but is not limited to) consideration of how to:

  • Simplify processes and procedures, such as the TRO process
  • Improve communication of the benefits of walking and cycling with clear messages and at all levels - national, local, community
  • Improve local community engagement and to enhance local democracy and leadership at all levels – national, local, community
  • Encourage walking and cycling through good place making for example by further implementation of Designing Streets and use of the Place Standard Tool
  • Link to the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) and National Planning Framework 3 (NPF3) (where the National Walking and Cycling Network is listed as a priority) and the promotion of these. To help address issues with access to land (including use of Compulsory Purchase Orders for paths in rural areas)
  • Investigate the skills required to deliver the projects (in light of reduced capacity in local authorities) highlighting any gaps
  • Links to the planning reform agenda, development proposals and area regeneration
  • Take into account the findings from the Active Travel Implementation research which looked at policy implementation of SG policies which are supportive of active travel to see if any lessons can be learned to improve the outcomes for active travel and encourage cross-portfolio working

Decisions made

Decisions made at the first meeting

  • The Sustainable Transport Team would act as the Secretariat for the life of the Task Force.
  • The Secretariat would discuss options for a representative for younger people to be invited to join the Task Force.
  • The Secretariat will produce regular progress/next steps updates, which will be available on the Transport Scotland website.
  • The Secretariat will invite written evidence by 10 March from a list of known organisations and individuals in the first instance then summarise and circulate to Task Force members for further consideration.

Proposed timeline

The Task Force will draft a report with recommendations to the Minister by the end of the calendar year.

  • First call for written evidence to be received by 10 March
  • Evidence from key stakeholders involved in high-profile projects in April
  • Possible second evidence day in spring (April/May) or early autumn (September)
  • Workshop in for elected councilors following the Local Elections in May.
  • Invitations to include conveners of Transport, Health, Environment and others with interest in active travel benefits to be held Mid-late June
  • Discuss the emerging findings of the Taskforce at the Active Travel Summit in Oct/Nov 2017
  • Final report sent to Minister in December 2017


The members are:

  • Roy Brannen, CEO Transport Scotland - Chair
  • Daisy Narayanan, Deputy Director of Built Environment at Sustrans Scotland, representing third sector active travel delivery partners
  • James Fowlie, Director of Integration and Development at The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, representing
  • George Eckton, Partnership Director at SESTRANS RTP, representing Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs)
  • Derick Murray, Director of NESTRANS RTP, representing the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS)

The Active Travel Taskforce met for the first time on 8 February 2017. Following this, the remit for the group was agreed as:

"To identify and make recommendations to the Minister for Transport and the Islands on ways to improve delivery of ambitious, inclusive walking and cycling projects in Scotland, helping to create high quality places and communities that support health and wellbeing"