An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a means of systematically drawing together an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects arising from a proposed development. Further information on when an EIA is required can be found on the Scottish Government’s Environmental Assessment webpage.

Transport Scotland is consulted on all EIAs submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration under the following processes:

  • Section 36 Energy Consents
  • The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010
  • Harbour Empowerment or Revision Order - Marine Licence And Planning Permission

We are no longer consulted on applications submitted through the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The Regulations changed in October 2015 to remove the requirement to consult Scottish Ministers, and therefore Transport Scotland.

Transport Scotland’s Role in EIAs

Transport Scotland responds at various stages in the preparation of EIAs, including: providing advice on the preparation of Environmental Statements; responding formally on Scoping requests: and responding on Environmental Statements submitted with applications.

We may however review Environmental Statements submitted with planning applications with respect to traffic impacts and access arrangements.

Planning Authorities must continue to consult us before granting planning permission for developments which are likely to have an impact on the trunk road.  The criteria for consultation can be found on the Development Management – Planning applications webpage. The consultation criteria extend beyond high trip generating development near trunk roads.  Developments remote from the trunk road can also have an impact, particularly windfarms and other uses which have the potential to change the character of traffic entering and leaving the trunk road.  Please contact us if you have aren't sure if we need to be consulted on the planning application. Pre-application discussions with Planning Authorities and applicants are encouraged and welcomed.

Transport Scotland’s Review

Transport Scotland reviews Environmental Statements (ES) with regard to the potential environmental impacts associated with increased development traffic on the Trunk Road and its adjacent receptors (such as communities) in line with the Guidelines for the Environmental Assessment of Road Traffic (Institute of Environmental Assessment).

The impact of traffic is dependent upon a wide range of factors including: volume of traffic, traffic speeds and operational characteristics and traffic composition. Additionally, different types of development will attract different levels and types of traffic, therefore, different environmental impacts.

The review process focuses on any direct physical impacts and on the environmental effects associated with increased traffic on the Trunk Road network and includes consideration of the following effects:

  • accidents/safety
  • severance
  • pedestrian/cycle amenity
  • pedestrian delay
  • driver delay
  • infrastructure wear and tear
  • noise and air quality

The most common issues associated with EIA projects are:

  • requests for new junctions onto the Trunk Road network or to use the network for the movement of abnormal loads; for example in the case of a quarry or wind turbine application.  In such circumstances, we ask the applicant to provide the design of any proposed alteration to the Trunk Road or for a Route Assessment report in the case of transporting abnormal loads.
  • environmental effects associated with increased traffic. The focus here is to establish the significance (in accordance with the environmental regulations) of the effects and consider the appropriateness of any mitigation measures.
  • noise & vibration and air quality impacts, which are dealt with under PAN 1/2011 Planning and Noise and the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges For further information on the assessment of the environmental impact of road traffic associated with new developments please see the Guidelines for the Environmental Assessment of Road Traffic (Institute of Environmental Assessment).

We welcome early discussion on EIA requirements.