Cycling by Design - Fairer Scotland Duty - Assessment Not Required Declaration

Policy Title

Publication of refreshed Cycling by Design guidance


Transport Scotland – Roads Directorate

Policy lead responsible for taking the decision

Karen Russell (Head of Standards)

Rationale for decision

The last major update of the Cycling by Design guidance document was published by Transport Scotland in 2010. The document was designed to draw together and rationalise existing cycling design guides into a single, comprehensive reference document which could be used as a source of sound technical advice. With this 2010 version of the guidance, Transport Scotland required consultants and contractors working on trunk road projects to follow the guidance and the document was commended to local authorities.

In June 2018, the Active Travel Taskforce report was published by Transport Scotland, making a number of recommendations “to improve delivery of the ambitious and inclusive walking and cycling projects in Scotland that will help to create high quality places and communities that support health and wellbeing”. The Active Travel Task Force report was developed in partnership with stakeholders, members of the public, and community councils. One of the actions being taken forward from the report’s recommendations is this refresh of Cycling by Design, and that this should be used by all Local Authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships as a minimum requirement.

Transport Scotland has overseen the delivery of a refreshed Cycling by Design guidance document to incorporate emerging best practice, in addition to widening its scope to include local roads, streets and paths in Scotland.

The document will contribute to policy delivery, rather than being policy itself. The aim of this guidance is to enable designers to consider the effects that design decisions have on a range of cycle users, as well as the impact on those walking and wheeling. The focus of the guidance is on high quality cycling infrastructure that will be attractive to all potential cycle users, particularly new or vulnerable users, to make cycling a practical choice for everyday journeys. This will ensure that cycle infrastructure is developed as part of holistic street design to allow designers to fully implement the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Travel Hierarchy within the National Transport Strategy (NTS2).

Encouraging people to make these choices also links with the vision and priorities of the NTS2. The guidance directly supports each of the Priorities and Outcomes of the NTS2.

Application of the refreshed Cycling by Design guidance will contribute positively to the delivery of the following policies and strategies:

  • National Planning Policy, by establishing national guidance on how to plan cycle networks, implement attractive cycling infrastructure, and support the enhanced integration of land use planning and sustainable transport planning as presented in Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework (NPF3). A revised NPF4 is currently being consulted upon, with new policy positions on low carbon developments and 20-minute neighbourhoods proposed, which Cycling by Design guidance will also support.
  • Active Travel Task Force report recommendations, by providing best practice design guidance that will allow a more cohesive cycle network to be developed.
  • Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) 2017 - 2020, Active Travel Framework and Cycling Framework for Active Travel (in development) by ensuring that future cycle infrastructure is attractive to new users who are not confident or experienced enough to use the current network, and thereby increasing cycle uptake.
  • Trunk Roads Cycling Initiative in Annex E of the CAPS 2013, by providing clear guidance to designers on the quality of cycle infrastructure that should be developed alongside trunk road improvements.
  • National Walking Strategy, by ensuring that the built environment is developed in a way that also allows for high-quality walking and cycling facilities.
  • Local and Regional Active Travel Action Plans, by ensuring the design requirements for future networks are clear.

It is therefore considered that this updated design guidance document does not require an assessment under the Fairer Scotland Duty given its status as guidance rather than formative policy or a strategic decision. Its provisions should not have any direct implications for inequalities arising from socio-economic disadvantage as the focus of the guidance is not on if or where to provide infrastructure, but on what constitutes high quality cycling infrastructure that will be attractive to all potential cycle users once policy has decided there is a need for its provision.

Published Date 27 Jul 2023 Type Mode of transport