Active Travel Strategies: Development Process

The following sets out suggested stages in the development of an active travel strategy. Questions are included as prompts.

A: Scoping

Identification, definition and integration of the policy intents

  • Mandate – What is the internal mandate for developing the ATS?
  • Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA)* – an assessment should be performed to consider how the ATS may positively and negatively impact on each of the protected characteristics. Use the EqIA to shape the engagement process and proposed interventions. Update it during the ATS development process.
  • Health Impact Assessment (HIA)* – A scoping HIA is recommended, with the potential for a full HIA, to look at the ATS through a health lens and the determinants of health for different populations. A HIA Scoping of this ATS guidance has been developed as a reference. Local authorities are encouraged to work with their local NHS Board public health or health improvement teams in developing their ATS and undertaking the HIA process.
  • Stakeholder Mapping & Engagement
    • Internal – which service areas and teams have strategies and plans which overlap with active travel? Planning how and at which stages to engage with elected members and seek approval
    • External – organisations, communities and individuals who have relevant information to help shape the ATS, cross-referencing with EqIA
  • Governance arrangements – may create a steering group to oversee development of the strategy and subsequent delivery
  • Create outline ATS development programme & project brief
  • Policy review:
    • National context – how will relevant national policy priorities shape the strategy (see mini-review, pages x-y)
    • Local context – how does active travel relate to and help deliver on the Council’s high-level aims and strategies, those of the local Health & Social Care Partnership and those of the community (e.g., Locality & Community Plans)?
  • Communications and Engagement Plans – how will you communicate about ATS development with different audiences?

* EqIA and HIAs can be combined, along with assessments for other policy areas, as part of an Integrated Impact Assessment

B: Understanding Communities and Benchmarking

Collation of evidence to inform the strategy

  • Problems and opportunities – through engagement identify problems that active travel could help address and opportunities for improvements. They are likely to include both strategic and location-specific issues. Using the Place-based Framework is a good approach to identify what changes will make a difference. Refer to your EqIA, considering problems and opportunities for different groups of people.
  • Review existing infrastructure quality and maintenance regime and activities currently undertaken related to active travel by the local authority, external organisations and the community.
  • Data collection - data types could include:
    • Movement / travel demand data
    • Spatial data (e.g. existing infrastructure, public transport stops & interchanges, greenspace and networks)
    • Population demographic data and SIMD
    • Health data
    • Other data sources referenced in the Active Travel Framework (Annex C)
  • Benchmarking – how have similar areas strategically planned for active travel? What was successful / unsuccessful? what does current good practice look like? How successful was your previous ATS (if applicable)?

C: Analysis and Planning

Use data and evidence to design a package of infrastructure and behavioural measures

  • Set vision – what do you want the future to look like?
  • Set ATS objectives – to respond to the problems and opportunities and achieve the vision, with reference to high-level local priorities
  • Outcomes – define changes that will result from your ATS.
  • Indicators – to measure progress against outcomes, including identifying necessary data sources. You can consult Cycling Scotland, Sustrans or colleagues for cycle counter and other data sources.
  • Develop a strategic approach to behaviour change to identify the types of infrastructure and behavioural interventions which are likely to be the most impactful in meeting your objectives. The Behaviour Change Wheel is useful framework to design a behaviour change strategy and identifying interventions. Details of this and other frameworks are contained in A guide to delivering effective SCSP projects. Propose package of infrastructure and behavioural measures to achieve the objectives, that will form the delivery plan of the ATS
    • Note impact on outcomes & objectives
    • Prioritised by importance (eg short / medium / long term)
    • Identify responsibilities – department/organisation to lead and support each
    • Note integration / dependencies with other areas (e.g. public transport, planning, parking controls)
  • The package should include an evidence-led cycle network plan for your area, including infrastructure separated from traffic, integrated with public transport and rural links. A version of the Propensity to Cycle Tool is being developed for Scotland to support this, which will estimate relative demand for cycling journeys across road and path networks.
  • Update the EqIA in relation to the proposed measures and modify the measures as necessary. Understand the types of behavioural support required to avoid inequalities in use.
  • Monitoring Plan – to report against indicators and feed into progress reviews

D: Strategy production

Develop strategy

  • Produce a draft strategy, including a delivery plan
  • Community & Stakeholder Engagement on the draft
  • Update strategy based on internal and external feedback
  • Finalise strategy and delivery plan

E: Periodic Monitoring and progress reviews

Assess, monitor and review implementation

  • Governance Arrangements as agreed.

F: End of Strategy Period review

Finalise and review process