Policy and strategy review


The section provides a summary of the key policies and strategies with which the Framework should align.

National Transport Strategy 2 Delivery Plan, 2020-22

Scotland’s National Transport Strategy 2 (NTS2) sets out an ambitious vision for the transport system for the next 20 years and outlines the four priorities which are: reduces inequalities; takes climate action; helps deliver inclusive economic growth; and improves our health and wellbeing.

This first NTS2 Delivery Plan sets out the broad actions the Scottish Government is taking to deliver on its vision and priorities out to end-March 2022, taking account of the impact of COVID-19. This encompasses actions being taken by Transport Scotland.

The NTS2 vision is “we will have a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system, helping deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors”.

The vision is underpinned by four priorities:

  • Reduces inequalities
  • Takes climate action
  • Helps deliver inclusive economic growth
  • Improves our health and wellbeing

Actions relevant to cycling include:

  • We will continue to support delivery partners to offer loans and grants for e-bikes and adapted bikes, as well as free and subsidised bike hire and bike share opportunities including adapted bikes to promote equality of access to bikes.
  • Over the lifetime of the next Parliament, we are committing an additional £50 million to ‘Active Freeways’ which will involve identification and design development of the strategic active travel network, to provide segregated active travel routes on main travel corridors to city and town centres and major trip attractors linking communities throughout Scotland.
  • We will continue to support and promote all forms of shared transport including public bike share schemes and car clubs through a number of grant funded programmes.
  • We will refresh Cycling by Design in 2021-22. This will provide design information for delivery partners and local authorities in developing active travel infrastructure.

Strategic Transport Projects Review 2, 2021

STPR2 is a Scotland-wide review of the strategic transport network across all transport modes, including walking, wheeling, cycling, bus, rail and car, as well as reviewing wider island and rural connectivity.

STPR2 will help to deliver the vision, priorities and outcomes for transport set out in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) and will align with other national plans such as the Infrastructure Investment Plan, National Planning Framework (NPF4) and the Climate Change Plan.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, STPR2 has a two Phased approach. Phase 2 reported to the original timescale of Winter 2020/21 while Phase 2 will report later in 2021 and will inform the Scottish Government’s future investment plans and spending reviews.

The outcomes from STPR2 will:

  • Enhance accessibility across Scotland for residents, visitors and businesses
  • Create better connectivity with sustainable, smart and cleaner transport options
  • Highlight the vital contribution that transport investment can play in enabling and sustaining Scotland’s economic growth

The Phase 1 process resulted in 20 interventions being recommended. Interventions that are relevant to cycling are:

  • Development and delivery of Active Freeways
  • Expansion of 20mph zones
  • Influencing travel choices
  • Transport’s contribution to placemaking principle in neighbourhoods
  • Reallocation of road space for active travel
  • Supporting integrated transport at ferry terminals
  • Infrastructure to provide access for all at rail stations
  • Investment in the trunk road network asset
  • Speed management plan

Infrastructure Investment Plan, 2021

The Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) for Scotland 2021 to 2026 provides additional detail to support the commitments made within the Programme for Government and sets the context of future investment in transport to deliver an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It recognises the need to invest in the areas of the transport sector being considered through STPR2 Phase 1. It states that over £550 million will be invested over 5 years in active travel, including £50 million dedicated to Active Freeways.

Climate Change Delivery Plan 2018-2032, update December 2020

This document updates the 2018 Climate Change Plan and sets out the Scottish Government’s Delivery Plan, identifying the high-level measures to meet the target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 (compared with 1990) and to net zero by 2045.

Ambitious transport actions have been set out to align with the NTS2 and importantly the update commits to reducing car kilometres by 20% by 2030.

The vision is that by 2032, the pendulum will have swung away from the dominance of private care use, particularly single occupancy, to a society which has embraced more walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport and shared transport options.

Commitments relevant to cycling include:

  • A five-year investment of over £500 million, including infrastructure, access to bikes and behaviour change schemes
  • Local authorities to develop ambitious joined-up plans across bus and active travel to enable the delivery of high quality and safe walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure.
  • An additional £50 million to Active Freeways which will involve identification and design development of the strategic active travel network, to provide segregated active travel routes on main travel corridors to city and town centres and major trip attractors linking communities throughout Scotland.
  • Continue to support the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme to encourage behaviour change.
  • Offering new support to increase access to bikes for all including the provision of public bike and e-bike share schemes, particularly in areas of multiple deprivation and support the use of e-bikes and adapted bikes through interest free loans, grants and trials.
  • Support for the provision of child and adult cycle training and safety programmes including driver awareness training
  • Continue to develop and promote awareness of the role and benefits of shared transport such as car clubs and promote bike sharing, ride sharing and multi-modal journeys

Scotland’s 4th National Planning Framework, Position Statement, 2020

The Scottish Government is preparing a new spatial plan for Scotland that will look ahead to 2050 to set out where future development can bring benefits for people, the economy and environment. The fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) will show what Scotland, as a place, could and should look like in 2050 with the following four key outcomes:

  • Net-zero emission
  • A wellbeing economy
  • Resilient communities
  • Better, greener places

The aim of NPF4 is to help stimulate the green economy by facilitating innovation, greener design and place-based solutions. Key opportunities set out in NPF4 to achieve this include: building 20 minute neighbourhoods; strengthening support for development in town centres and restricting out-of-town retail and leisure to help us transition away from car-dependent developments; stimulating new models of low carbon living in rural areas as well as towns and cities; and, removing the need for planning permission for active travel and electric vehicle charging points to ensure that new infrastructure can be implemented widely and quickly.

Commitments relevant to cycling include:

  • Seek to promote high quality walking, wheeling and cycling environments, public transport and shared transport options in preference to single occupancy private car use. Clear choices will need to be made to direct development to locations which reduce the need to travel and are already well served by sustainable transport options.
  • Approach will ensure transport options that focus on reducing inequalities and the need to travel unsustainably are prioritised.
  • Maintenance and safe operation of existing transport infrastructure and services to ensure transport networks can adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Actively plan future development in a way that helps achieve zero carbon living that minimises the need to travel by unsustainable modes, for example by helping to create 20-minute neighbourhoods where achievable.
  • Introduce, for the first time, an infrastructure-first approach to neighbourhood planning, including natural networks and sustainable travel, to ensure that we have fair access to the services we need to help make our communities a great place to live.
  • Refocus existing transport policies to specifically draw out how land use planning can build in sustainable travel choices.
  • Continue to have a sustained and significant shift away from use of the private car towards walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport, taxis and shared transport. This will need to be embedded in the land use decision making process and will require policies that can be directly and consistently applied, to avoid compromising on our climate change and health objectives.
  • Promoting innovative place-based solutions to reflect a new approach to localism, including 20-minute neighbourhoods, an infrastructure first approach and a move towards more mixed land uses to improve local areas.
  • Promoting places which create the conditions for healthier, more sustainable living, including by addressing the links between planning, transport, place, food and drink and other lifestyle choices, and the retail environment.
  • Reducing the need to travel unsustainably by embedding the Sustainable Travel and Investment Hierarchies into decisions about locations for change.

Active Travel Framework, 2019

The Active Travel Framework brings together the key policy approaches for improving the uptake of walking and cycling in Scotland for travel. The Active Travel Vision is shown below.

Scotland’s communities are shaped around people, with walking or cycling the most popular choice for shorter everyday journeys.

The Active Travel Vision is accompanied by the following objectives that promote healthier, fairer, and more environmentally friendly choices while creating more pleasant, economically viable, safer and sustainable places:

  • Cut carbon emissions and other pollution
  • Deliver liveable, more pleasant communities
  • Better health and safer travel for all
  • Reduce inequalities - jobs, services, leisure
  • Support delivery of sustainable economic growth

Several outcomes and indicators have also been identified and are shown below.

Increase the number of people choosing walking, cycling and wheeling in Scotland

  • Proportion of short everyday journeys by walking and cycling
  • Attitudes towards/propensity to walking, cycling and wheeling
  • Proportion of journeys to school by walking, cycling and wheeling
  • Frequency of walking and cycling for pleasure/exercise

High quality walking, cycling and wheeling infrastructure is available to all

  • Km of traffic-free walking and cycling facilities
  • Distance to traffic-free cycling infrastructure
  • Quality of walking and cycling infrastructure

Walking, cycling and wheeling is safer for all

  • Casualties by mode of transport and distance travelled (number and proportion)
  • Perceptions of safety of walking, wheeling and cycling

Walking, cycling and wheeling is available to all

  • Household access to a bike (with focus on regional and socio-economic variation)
  • Proportion of people identifying barriers to walking, cycling and wheeling

Delivery of walking, cycling and wheeling is promoted and supported by a range of partners

  • Level of inclusion of active travel in local development plans
  • Level of public sector spend on walking, cycling and wheeling
  • Perception of community involvement in walking, cycling and wheeling initiatives
  • Proportion of primary schools delivering on-road cycle training

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030


For Scotland to have the best road safety performance in the world


  • Safe road use: Achieved from road users who decide the most sustainable way to travel, know and comply with road rules and take responsibility for the safety of themselves and others, especially the vulnerable.
  • Safe vehicles: Well-maintained vehicles, reduce the risk of collisions and, in the event of a collision, reduce the harm to road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists and vehicles occupants.
  • Safe speeds: Road users understand and travel at appropriate speeds to the conditions and within the speed limits.
  • Safe roads and roadsides: They are self-explaining in that their design encourages safe and sustainable travel so that they are predictable and forgiving of errors.
  • Post-crash response: Allows an effective and appropriate response to collisions. Road victims receive appropriate medical care and rehabilitation to minimise the severity and long-term impact of their injuries. Learnings from collisions are captured and acted upon. Families of those killed or seriously injured are appropriately supported.

12 strategic actions have been identified:

  • Speed: we will deliver a range of speed management initiatives to support the Safe System
  • Climate: we will deliver road safety initiatives that positively impact the climate emergency and we will mitigate the negative impacts climate change may have on road safety
  • Funding & Resourcing: we will improve funding streams for national and local road safety delivery
  • Change in Attitudes & Behaviour: we will engage in partnership working to enable all road users to understand their road safety responsibilities, allowing them to improve their attitudes and behaviours for the safety of themselves and others
  • Technology: we will research, implement and evaluate technologies for use within the Safe System and promote them as appropriate
  • Active & Sustainable Travel: we will ensure road safety remains a key focus of active & sustainable travel in Scotland
  • Knowledge & Data Analysis: we will ensure our actions are evidence-led to support the delivery of the Safe System
  • Enforcement: we will optimise enforcement to encourage good road user behaviour to support the Safe System
  • Health: we will strengthen the relationship between health and road safety, reduce the likelihood, number and severity of collisions and improve the post-crash response
  • Education: we will provide opportunities for all road users to gain the knowledge, skills and experience required to become safe and responsible users
  • Engineering: we will improve road infrastructure and maintenance
  • Inequality: we will reduce road safety inequality due to socio-economic disadvantage of people living in areas of deprivation

Going Further: Scotland’s Accessible Travel Framework, 2016

The purpose of the framework is to:

  • support disabled people’s rights by removing barriers and improving access to travel; and
  • ensure disabled people are fully involved in work to improve all aspects of travel.


All disabled people can travel with the same freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity as other citizens.

The vision is supported by four outcomes:

  • more disabled people make successful door-to-door journeys, more often
  • disabled people are more involved in the design, development and improvement of transport policies, services and infrastructure
  • everyone involved in delivering transport information, services and infrastructure will help to enable disabled people to travel
  • disabled people feel comfortable and safe using public transport – this includes being free from hate crime, bullying and harassment when travelling

Let’s Get Scotland Walking: the National Walking Strategy Action Plan 2016-2026 (Revised 2019)


A Scotland where everyone benefits from walking as part of their everyday journeys, enjoys walking in the outdoors and where places are well designed to encourage walking.

This Action Plan is a high-level plan that has been developed to assist in the delivery of Let’s Get

Scotland Walking - the National Walking Strategy and its vision.

It has the following two strategic aims:

  • Develop a daily walking culture – everyone, everyday
    To deliver on creating a culture of walking where everyone walks more often as part of their everyday travel and for recreation and wellbeing
  • Develop walkable places and spaces for everyone
    To achieve better quality walking environments with attractive, well designed and managed built and natural spaces and places for everyone.

A More Active Scotland - Scotland’s Physical Activity Delivery Plan, 2018

Our vision is of a Scotland where more people are more active, more often

Active Scotland outcomes are as follows:

  • We encourage and enable the inactive to be more active
  • We encourage and enable the active to stay active throughout life
  • We develop physical confidence and competence from the earliest age
  • We improve out active infrastructure – people and places
  • We support wellbeing and resilience in communities through physical activity and sport
  • We improve opportunities to participate, progress and achieve in sport
  • Equality – our commitment to equality underpins everything that we do

Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland: A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight, 2010

In addressing one of the main causes of premature mortality and ill-health in Scotland, the Route Map aims to make a significant contribution to delivering the Government’s purpose to deliver sustainable economic growth and, in particular, is a key driver underpinning efforts to increase healthy life expectancy.


For the majority of Scotland’s population to be in a normal weight range throughout adult life thus avoiding the adverse consequences of overweight/obesity.


  • Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed
  • We live longer, healthier lives
  • We have tackled significant inequalities in Scottish society
  • We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk

Preventative Actions

  • Energy consumption – controlling exposure to, demand for and consumption of excessive quantities of high calorific foods and drinks
  • Energy expenditure – increasing opportunities for and uptake of walking, cycling and other physical activity in our daily lives and minimising sedentary behaviour
  • Early years – establishing life-long habits and skills for positive health behaviour through early life interventions
  • Working lives – increasing responsibility of organisations for the health and wellbeing of their employees

Fairer Duty Scotland

The Fairer Scotland Duty, Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 places a legal responsibility on particular public bodies in Scotland to actively consider ('pay due regard' to) how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions.

To fulfil their obligations under the Duty, public bodies must be able to meet these key requirements in each case:

  • Actively consider how they could reduce inequalities of outcome in any major strategic decision they make
  • Publish a written assessment, showing how they’ve done this.


This review of current Scottish Government policies illustrates how cycling can contribute to and play an important role in the achievement of the Scottish Government’s aims and objectives, including for climate change, planning, health and transport.