1. This Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) has considered the potential impacts of the Transport (Scotland) Bill ('the Bill') on the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. The provisions in the Bill relating to Regional Transport Partnerships and the Scottish Canals Board have been screened out as they are minor and technical changes which have no impact on equalities. Regional Transport Partnerships are subject to the Public Sector Equalities Duty and the Scottish Canals board is subject to the requirements of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018.
2. Information on the proposals was gathered from the respective consultations on low emission zones, bus services, smart ticketing, parking and road works based on specific questions asked in relation to the impact on equalities. In addition, information was gathered on the impact of proposals relating to low emission zones and bus services from the Transport and Travel in Scotland Statistics 2016, 2017 and the Scottish Transport Statistics 2017 and other statistical data available. Evidence was also gathered in relation to parking on pavements and double parking from the Parking Stakeholder Working Group, Guide Dogs Scotland and Living Streets Scotland. Evidence was gathered on all aspects of the Bill in a face-to-face evidence-gathering session with the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) and the Bill Team and with subsequent electronic correspondence with MACS.
3. No significant gaps were identified in relation to the proposals with the exception of the protected characteristics’ relating to gender reassignment and sexual orientation where there is no data available to suggest whether the proposed legislation would have any effect on individuals.
4. An overall positive or no impact was identified to varying degrees for low emission zones (although a negative impact was identified for people with older vehicles), bus services, smart ticketing, and road works provisions relating to the protected characteristics, most notably positive impacts on age and disability. Regarding low emission zones, as the Bill provides a framework for their creation which will be utilised for implementation by local authorities, further assessment of equalities impacts regarding specific schemes will be necessary by the relevant authorities and these should include involvement with disabled people and local citizens/groups. With regard to pavement and double parking, concern has been expressed by disability representative groups at the scope of exemptions to the responsible parking provisions of the Bill. Standards and guidance relating to the management and enforcement of the new parking restrictions will accompany the legislation when implemented. Policy officials continue to fully engage with equality stakeholders, including disability organisations as documentation is developed.
5. The EQIA has not identified any Bill provision that would either directly or indirectly have a discriminatory impact on any of the protected characteristics in relation to equalities. No objection has been raised to the proposals from any group on the basis of an inequitable burden being placed on people who share one or more of the protected characteristics and it is not envisaged that the proposals will have a negative impact on the public sector equalities duty. As a result, it is not considered that any changes to the Bill’s provisions should be made as a result of the assessment.
6. The EQIA covers the Bill and further equalities assessment will be needed as the more detailed regulations following on from the Bill are developed and as provisions within the Bill are implemented. The engagement to achieve this will need to ensure that the impact on people who share one or more of the protected characteristics are taken into account in future equalities assessments particularly involving disabed people and local citizens/groups.