Transport Scotland is responsible for making Scotland’s trunk road network safer and accessible for all users.

We try to avoid features that create physical and psychological barriers to travel.

We also try to ensure that the design, construction, operation and maintenance of our trunk road infrastructure creates environments which can be used by everyone regardless of age or disability.

Through the Scottish Government’s investment programme, Scotland’s road network is continually enhanced in order to improve safety and convenience for road users.

In partnership with our colleagues in the Roads For All Forum, we have focused on delivering a trunk road network accessible to all. This includes:

  • an audit of accessibility of the trunk road network and development of potential future 5,10, and 15 year programmes for the implementation of access works
  • publication of the Good Practice Guide for Roads, identifying training needs and delivery of training programmes to Transport Scotland staff, consultants, contractors and local authorities
  • ongoing updates to the Good Practice Guide following the implementation of pilot projects to improve accessibility including the use of contemporary technology, and the provision of improved public transport infrastructure
  • delivering the first Roads for All national conference, held on 8 June 2010
  • an upgrade of motorway emergency telephones programmed incorporating inclusive design facilities and
  • continuing the Roads for All Forum and the ongoing involvement of disabled people in all aspects of the action plan

Trunk Road Action Plan

Transport Scotland launched its action plan for the trunk road network, Roads for All, in December 2006. Following on from this, our Roads for All: 3 Year Report 2007-2010 was published giving a progress report in taking forward the Trunk Road Accessibility Action Plan. See also the Equality Act 2010.

The plan sets out how Transport Scotland will fulfill its responsibilities and duties under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 for trunk roads. We have developed the plan involving disabled people and representative groups to identify the main issues and outcomes.

The objectives of the Trunk Road Action Plan are:

  • To make Scotland’s trunk road network safer and more accessible for all users
  • To develop the understanding of the needs of disabled people among professional and technical staff involved in designing and maintaining trunk roads
  • To involve disabled people in the development of good practice guidance
  • To make facilities and services more accessible from the Trunk Road Network
  • To make journeys secure and comfortable for all by working with other service providers and utilising appropriate technology
  • To promote journeys by public transport by working with Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and operators to improve access, facilities and information at bus stops.

Since its publication, Transport Scotland has extended the remit of the original working group to form the Roads for All Forum to provide ongoing involvement in the implementation of the Trunk Road Action Plan.

Roads for All Forum

The Roads for All Forum comprises representatives from several organisations, including:

  • Enable
  • Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland
  • RNIB
  • Action on Hearing Loss
  • Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance
  • Scottish Council on Deafness
  • Scottish Disability Equality Forum

Good Practice Guide for Roads

The Good Practice Guide for Roads, republished in 2013, contains Transport Scotland’s requirements for inclusive design in the construction, operation and maintenance of road infrastructure. Inclusive design is an approach which aims to create environments which can be used by everyone regardless of age or disability.

The Guide provides practitioners with current international good practice and advice on providing for the needs of people with sensory, cognitive and physical impairments, within the road environment.

The Good Practice Guide is targeted at everyone who makes design and management decisions which affect the road network. This includes external consultants and contractors as well as Transport Scotland staff.

Production of the Good Practice Guide was one of the objectives of Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road Action Plan - Roads for All, published in December 2006.

UK Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 became an Act of Parliament on 8 April 2010 and the majority of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010.

Within the Act a Public Sector Equality Duty places responsibilities on public authorities to have due regard to the elimination of discrimination, promotion of equality and the fostering of good relations. Scottish Ministers have the power to place specific duties on public authorities to help them deliver on the Equality Duty.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, it was these specific duties which covered issues such as the production of schemes, actions plans, impact assessment and reporting. Following a consultation process, specific duties came into force on 27 May 2012, under 'The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties)' (Scotland) Regulations 2012' requiring listed authorities to publish equality outcomes and report progress. The Scottish Government Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report, published April 2013, applies to Transport Scotland as an agency of the Scottish Government.