Stakeholder engagement


This section summarises the stakeholder engagement that has been carried out to inform the development of the Framework and Delivery Plan. The following means of consultation have been used:

  • Local authority MS Teams focus groups
  • Local authority survey
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Stakeholder survey

The survey questions are provided at Appendix A.

Local Authorities

Two virtual focus groups were held on 19 and 20 May 2021. The following local authorities attended the focus groups:

  • Aberdeenshire Council
  • Argyll & Bute Council
  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council
  • East Lothian Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • East Ayrshire Council
  • East Renfrewshire Council
  • Fife Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Highland Council
  • Inverclyde Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • Moray Council
  • Perth & Kinross Council
  • Renfrewshire Council
  • South Lanarkshire Council
  • Shetland Islands Council
  • Stirling Council
  • West Dunbartonshire Council
  • West Lothian Council

Representatives from the following regional organisations were also in attendance:

  • SEStran
  • Tactran
  • Nestrans
  • SPT

Existing Cycling/Active Travel Strategies

The following update on regional transport strategies was provided:

  • SPT Regional Transport Strategy – case for change consultation – preparing new RTS Spring 2022. Sub-strategies to follow.
  • SEStran Regional Transport Strategy & new Strategic Network for Active Travel infrastructure (approx. £300k per year on route development).
  • Nestrans Regional Transport Strategy update. Both local authorities embarking on reviews.

Denotes the existing active travel strategies confirmed by Local Authorities, including update on work in progress where applicable:

Local Authority Cycling/Active Travel Strategies

Aberdeen City Council

Active Travel Action Plan

Year of Council adoption

2021 (refresh of 2017 plan)

(NESTRANS area five Integrated Travel Town (ITT) Masterplan documents)

Aberdeenshire Council

Walking and Cycling Action Plan

Year of Council adoption


(New Local Transport Strategy scheduled for March 2022 – may contain further document around Smarter and Active Travel Delivery Plan. Also have five Integrated Travel Town (ITT) Masterplan documents  which have walking and cycling embedded)

Angus Council

Angus Active & Sustainable Travel StrategyAppendix

Year of Council adoption

2021 (refresh of 2016 ATS)

Argyll & Bute Council

HITRANS Regional Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

HITRANS Regional Active Travel Strategy.

Working on strategy, consulting in 2021.

Year of Council adoption


Dumfries & Galloway Council

Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


(Expected end of 2021 road strategy update building upon Regional Transport Strategy)

Dundee Council

Dundee Cycling Strategy

Year of Council adoption

2019 (refresh of 2016 plan)

East Dunbartonshire Council

Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


East Lothian Council

Active Travel Improvement Plan

Year of Council adoption


City of Edinburgh Council

Active Travel Action Plan

Year of Council adoption


(refresh of 2010 plan. Aim of 2022 for new Active Travel Strategy. City Mobility Plan updated in 2020 – sets framework for active travel strategy update)

East Renfrewshire Council

Active Travel Action Plan

Year of Council adoption


Falkirk Council

Local Transport Strategy (2014) due for review in 2021. Draft sustainable travel strategy (in review). Form part of LTS as separate document with action plan attached. No timescales.

Fife Council

Review of LTS over next 18 months. Last updated 2006. High level document but working with active travel leads to develop Active Travel Action Plan from strategy over next few years.

Glasgow City Council

Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling

Year of Council adoption

Active travel strategy being updated during 2021.


(refresh of 2010 plan)

Highland Council

HITRANS Regional Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


Inverclyde Council

Inverclyde Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


Midlothian Council

Midlothian Active Travel Strategy 2018-2021

Year of Council adoption


(Consultation on Strategy update scheduled for 2021 with plans to publish the updated Strategy in future years 2022/23)

Moray Council

The Moray Council Active Travel Strategy 2016-2021

Year of Council adoption


(Currently renewing Strategy for 2022-2026)

North Ayrshire Council

LTS and active travel strategy to be produced by the end of 2022 as one document.

North Lanarkshire Council

Walking and Cycling Strategy

Year of Council adoption


Orkney Islands Council

Green Travel Plan

Year of Council adoption


Perth & Kinross Council

Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


Renfrewshire Council

Renfrewshire Cycling Strategy 2016-2025

Year of Council adoption


South Lanarkshire Council

Cycling Strategy 2015-2020

Year of Council adoption


(Extension of cycling Strategy to 2022. Active travel studies – 2020)

Shetland Islands Council

Active Travel Strategy

Year of Council adoption


(Overlaps with Regional Transport Strategy)

Stirling Council

Walking and Cycling to a Healthier Stirling, Active Travel Action Plan

Year of Council adoption


West Lothian Council

Active Travel Plan for West Lothian 2016-2021: Making Active Connections

Year of Council adoption

2016 (Awaiting funding for consultant review and renew document for the next 5 years). 

What is Guiding Active Travel Investment

Local Authorities indicated that investment in Active Travel/walking and wheeling infrastructure is predominantly guided by Local Transport Strategies. Common amongst some representatives was the view that investment plans can vary between settlements within a Local Authority due to the differing demands between rural and urban areas. Difficulties in the application and practicalities of rural active travel infrastructure development was discussed at length by representatives, particularly surrounding land purchase issues, design application, topography and the length or road network per capita, all of which are significant barriers to Active Travel Investment.

A series of cabinet reports setting out priorities for the next 3-4 years also inform Active Travel investment, with the outcome of specific Active Travel Strategies in development further expected to have further direct impact on investment priorities. The regional SEStran strategic document was referenced as guiding Active Travel/walking and wheeling infrastructure investment.

School Travel plans were further cited as guiding Active Travel Investments with safer routes to schools as a priority. Direct community engagement regarding walking routes and routes to school was highlighted as further directing investment. Other Local Authorities echoed these sentiments with response to local demand from communities and trying to deliver projects that are community-led/community-focussed taking priority.

An observation emerged noting a discrepancy between policy that guides investment in Active Travel and the pragmatic and practical aspects which sit beneath active travel plans to determine scheme progression. Political pressures were cited as underpinning this disjuncture too and the realisation of schemes was seen to lie at an interface between Active Travel Plans and practicalities/community pressures.  

Cycling Delivery Plans

Whilst uncertainty over budgets and annual funding prevented definitive comment on cycling delivery plans over the next 5 years, one council disclosed plans to convert specific ‘pop-up’ cycling routes into permanent ones. Such plans contrast to a significant barrier to Active Travel Investment identified as community (including business) backlash against ‘spaces for people’ initiatives.

Specific plans and documents were shared from select Local Authorities that outlined plans to link cycling infrastructure from residential locations to emerging centres of employment. A committee paper was also shared that outlined specific plans to develop an Active Travel Action Plan (2020-30), emphasising delivery of several large-scale projects to join up the QuietRoutes cycle network, with significant investment in on-street segregation, major public realm and walking upgrades and a number of projects focussed on improvements for pedestrians and wheelchair/mobility scooter users (e.g., installing dropped kerbs and raised crossings).

Key Issues and Barriers to Active Travel Investment

A focus of discussions from Local Authorities related to the issues and barriers experienced in Active Travel Investment/delivery. Topics discussed, such as funding conditions, design standards, maintenance budgets and lack of community consent stemming from imposition of active travel measures during the ‘spaces for people’ initiative recurred in other question responses throughout the focus groups. Key issues/barriers to Active Travel were identified as follows:


  • Capital funding – competing with other projects of different nature and competing priorities (e.g., budget to deliver road safety and active travel). Associated with this is the issue of political buy-in for spending to prioritise active travel in capital budgets.
  • Up until recently, funding has had lots of strings attached. There is a lot more certainty now but previously variability in funding availability has determined project progression. Such funding uncertainties/pragmatics were said to lead to piecemeal delivery of schemes in small stages which can be problematic as communities do not see delivery of the broader project.
  • Difficulties in achieving match funding. Although design guidance has been updated and improved it is still very difficult for rural scheme designs to be proportionate for the locality and competitive in regard to adhering to design standards when applying for match funding.
  • Often funding is available for a short section of active travel route so people can access the network, however, there is a lack of existing routes which makes creating a joined-up network difficult.
  • The 1-year funding cycle does not work for projects because of the time involved in procurement and waiting for funding.
  • Uncertainty around funding and challenging timescales involved (the automatic release of funding stages is reportedly useful for construction/design phases).
  • Sometimes funding stipulations required a ‘gold standard’ of design that is not feasible in the location or not proportionate.
  • The grant application process for funding is deemed by some representatives as onerous and can favour larger Local Authorities/populous areas.
  • Funding is for commuting journeys- could leisure journeys be supported? Leisure cyclists can become commuting cyclists.

Political support

  • Public opinion and elected Member opinion are often in opposition to anything which takes road space away from a network congested by cars.
  • Some resistance amongst elected members for active travel initiatives.
  • Still significant perception both political and public of cycling being a leisure activity.
  • Experience of spaces for people – push back with taking out parking. Any road reallocation is being met with huge resistance from businesses/locals.
  • Spaces for People used up a lot of energy and political capital in many areas.
  • Prioritising cross border links with neighbouring local authorities is difficult as each have different active travel priorities.

Land purchase cost and timescale

  • Trying to link smaller communities to larger service centres is difficult with third party land issues. The timescales for land purchases and associated processes also creates barriers to Active Travel scheme delivery as communities are forced to wait lengthy periods for interventions.
  • Land ownership presents major challenges for interventions.

Maintenance costs

  • Maintenance costs/funding presents issues.
  • Some Local Authorities report a desire to expand networks, but they need revenue funding to maintain support for existing schemes before putting more capital schemes in.

Design Standards/processes

  • Very strict design standards from funders and issues around their feasibility in rural areas. Not a lot of flexibility within the standards/guidance.
  • Legal orders required for taking away carriageway space, such as traffic regulation/redetermination orders, is a time-consuming process.
  • The reallocation of road space as guidance dictates to create safe routes to school and creating safer infrastructure is not possible on rural single-track roads.
  • Cycle design guidance appropriateness for rural areas - Cities and rural areas are held to the same design standards when interventions to the same design specifications in rural areas may not be possible due to topography or road widths.
  • Discrepancy in design standards for narrower roads (e.g., 2.2/2.3m width roads and the minimum required cycleway needed by design standards).
  • Design processes can be lengthy and ‘stretched-out’.
  • Need to look at linking up cycling with other kinds of sustainable transport (e.g., problems surrounding ability of bikes to travel on buses).
  • Speed limits – 60mph or 50mph limit can be more dangerous for cycles. Road Departments are not willing to deviate from national guidance on speed limits and therefore changes to national guidance on speed limits should be considered. Low accident numbers on such routes but that is potentially because cyclists do not feel safe to travel on them.


  • Skills at local authority level to design and push schemes through the development process are needed.
  • Resource to prepare documents and undertake design is key to delivering ambitions (taking road space in old established towns is difficult).
  • Having capacity within teams is a potential barrier. Resource in estates and procurement is a further issue and it is not just internal resource to design or manage projects that is lacking in Local Authorities, but the other parts of the council that are facing pressures is quite challenging too.
  • The skill set in Transportation tends to be focused on roads maintenance.
  • Staff capacity issues.

Developer support

  • Interventions that are more commercially viable (i.e., roads) are prioritised and delivered, not active travel.
  • New developments – some developers are easier to work with, but others require specific prescribed active travel details (issue with walking/cycling route). It would be beneficial if the active travel requirements were included in the planning guidelines.

Covid 19 Impacts

A common theme in discussions regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Local Authority plans/priorities for cycling related to the impact of the ‘Spaces for People’ initiatives. Whilst some representatives articulated strong positives from the pandemic regarding active travel and uplift in cycling, albeit to different temporal patterns than might have been expected previously, several authorities noted strong resistance to some of interventions deployed. In particular, local businesses were cited by some Local Authorities as providing a particularly emotional and strong objection to schemes that reduced parking. The imposition of such measures was perceived as a threat to the survival of local businesses during such difficult economic circumstances. Related to this, some representatives noted fatigue/deflation from the removal of schemes deemed to be ‘good’ put in place under the ‘Spaces for People’ initiatives that were removed through resistance. Some authorities noted apprehension over future plans because of the push-back experienced and noted work with businesses would be important for future schemes to highlight the opportunities of local trips/changing working patterns from Covid-19.

Some Local Authorities noted that due to challenges in staff capacity and funding, cycling priorities have not changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Other authorities noted how pop-up cycle route funding from the pandemic was being furthered to trial permanent routes. Further observations emerged that the pandemic had illustrated a desire for leisure cycling, however, this is not an area that funding is typically available for. Observations were made regarding the need to facilitate behavioural changes in attitudes towards cycling amongst communities but also amongst public bodies as well.

Strategic Actions Identified

Representatives were asked to consider key strategic actions they would like to see incorporated into the delivery plan of the new Cycling Framework during the focus group and document them in the comment section. The following is a list of actions submitted, some of which were also discussed:


  • Clarity of design guidelines is required (particularly regarding lack of road space and issues with rural infrastructure being able to meet such standards).
  • Flexible design standards.
  • Quality of rein statements on cycle lanes/tracks; resolving the ‘to band or not to overband’ question and friction of yellow lining and lining.
  • Spaces to store a bike securely (especially flats).
  • Footways / cycle infrastructure from new developments needs to extend to destination, not just stop at the 'red line' boundary. Having appropriate mixed development can reduce travel distances.
  • Linking with ‘emerging place’ plans and ‘20 minute neighbourhoods’.


  • More pragmatic approach to making funding available and trust local authorities to deliver to a standard that is proportional to an area.
  • Capital Budget allocated on a per capita basis and left to the Local Authority to decide how to spend.
  • Allow budget allocation over more than one financial year, we cannot get project consistency within a year because of funding assessment and procurement periods.
  • 100% funding eligibility including for Project Management.
  • Localising decision making.
  • Finding ways of funding maintenance/ more emphasis on revenue funding - either for maintenance or promotion.
  • Consider guidance on scoring matrix to help prioritise schemes.
  • Diversity and confidence in funding availability.
  • Supporting behaviour change further (i.e., not just capital funding).
  • Differentiation between leisure cycling and active travel is not entirely separate. Funding is for active travel but behaviour change process from covid is that people want to walk/cycle as leisure.
  • SCSP has been hugely beneficial, but it is still a tiny amount of money compared to other funding streams and leads to very small 'one off' behaviour change projects rather than sustained levels of engagement and promotion.

Community engagement/behavioural change

  • Engaging with communities is important - not just consultation (bottom-up approach versus the prevalent top-down approach 'imposed' on communities).
  • A strategic marketing approach (nationally) to the kind of messaging around cycling and sustainable travel.
  • Internal resources available to local authorities.
  • Shift in attitude amongst council staff from a focus is on roads and how we change this attitude,
  • Community engagement, with a particular focus on the older population and ability to trial bikes (facilities or funding for those people).
  • Behavioural change.
  • Change the stereotype for cyclists. Health is the key, as highlighted by the Covid message for mental and physical health wellbeing.

Local Authority Powers/Resourcing

  • Changes in the powers of local authorities in relation to their suitability to be able to implement Active Travel as they were designed for road-building intervention predominantly (e.g., road space allocation, land purchase powers).
  • The flow from policy to delivery on the ground needs thought and strategic action.
  • Trial of provision of cycles as a suitable alternative to putting buses on under the s51 of the Education Scotland Act duty about school transport.
  • Wider policy- A deeper discussion on presumed liability.
  • More Scottish Government involvement in ensuring that all local authorities and their health boards interact with one another and report annually with figures published for each local authority area.
  • As recommended in the CAPS review of next steps 2019 – offer national funding to local authorities for employment of additional traffic engineering staff to work on design and implementation of active travel infrastructure.

Addressing Inclusivity and Inequalities

A broad consensus emerged during discussions that inclusive design is critical to promoting travel by people using wheelchairs, mobility aids and non-standard bicycle. Such designs have potential further benefit for people using prams and pushchairs. Removing street clutter, obstructions and improving the quality of pavements/surfaces in pedestrian environments is seen as important for inclusivity and whilst improving active travel routes, would serve to further benefit those with visual impairments too. Some representatives mentioned a need for the Cycling Framework delivery plan to think about those disabilities that are not necessarily visible.

Representatives also discussed the need to address inequalities through the framework in terms of urban and rural accessibility and improving access to education. A need to prioritise deprived areas also emerged, although to be conscious that the demand for infrastructure in deprived neighbourhoods should be thoroughly understood. A cycleway may not be top of the priority list for those still aspiring to car ownership.

Examples of potential initiatives to include in the plan included:

  • Adapted bikes for those with specific needs/bikeability going into specialist schools.
  • Cycling schemes for schools under section 51 of the Education act, including every eligible child being issued with a bike, helmet, waterproofs, bike lock, and training on maintenance skills.
  • Dementia friendly-signage,
  • Access to bikes, maintenance, safe storage, waterproofs, bike locks for those facing transport poverty.
  • Targeted interventions and focussed community involvement in areas suffering deprivation, or in communities of interest.

Relevant Other Government Strategies

The following government strategies and National Performance Framework outcomes were discussed as relevant to contributing to increased cycling uptake for everyday journeys:

  • 20-minute neighbourhoods.
  • Encouraging shopping/leisure amenity development in local centres.

Comment was made regarding the need for statutory Government policy for all health boards to promote active travel for health reasons and Councils to implement infrastructure as per strategies.

Further examples of successful active travel strategies to increase cycling were stated as follows:

  • SCOTS work with Sustrans, MACS, LAs, RTPs on spaces for people benefits & challenges and future learning including impacts on people with a disability, and public and political support.
  • Amsterdam's PlusNet and Brussel's active travel investment plan
  • Make Your Move Kirkcaldy - Sustrans & Fife Council joint active travel project
  • Barcelona's superblock plan
  • London's LTN strategy
  • City of Edinburgh’s active travel work.

Monitoring and Review

The following recommendations were made for potential monitoring and review processes based on the following existing sources:

  • Transport Scotland active travel monitoring network.
  • Cycling Scotland’s have open data portal for monitoring (
  • Citizen science style approaches to monitoring (e.g.,
  • New technologies (e.g., Strava metro, phone location data).
  • Health data/local NHS data (including annual reports by local authorities and health boards for that local authority area regarding walking and cycling uptake in their area and the impact on health).
  • Climate change target contributions.
  • Comprehensive programme to put in IoT enabled counter devices across the whole of Scotland

Some representatives stated that arbitrary numbers and targets do not help in monitoring and reviewing the success of the framework. Representatives stated the challenge is to frame targets in such a way as to not be discouraging. Representatives also noted that it is difficult and expensive to monitor growth in a statistically meaningful way year on year. One representative noted that as cycling is seen as contributing to net zero ambitions, there is perhaps scope to determine what levels of cycling would be needed to achieve those climate targets and then implement a monitoring plan to track this.

Other Comments

No other comments were made beyond discussion topics detailed.

Local authorities also had the opportunity to complete an online survey, and this was shared with the SCOTS Chief Officers of Transport.  A telephone interview was held with the Chair of the Scots Transport Working Group. The survey was also circulated to the directors of the Regional Transport Partnerships.


Telephone Interviews

The following stakeholders were consulted in 2021 by telephone and the questions asked of them are provided at Appendix A.

  • Active Nation Commissioner
  • MACS representative
  • Scottish Enterprise Innovation Team
  • Cosla
  • Education Scotland

An online survey was also circulated to the following organisations for them to give their feedback.

  • Sustrans
  • Cycling UK
  • Energy Saving Trust
  • Paths for All
  • ComoUK
  • Living Streets
  • Forth Environment Link
  • Scottish Cycling
  • Cycling Scotland
  • Cycling World Championships
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Scottish Towns
  • Development Trusts Association
  • CPT
  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Scottish Government Tourism and events
  • Scottish Government PAG
  • Scottish Government/Active Scotland

The key findings were as follows:

Strategy for Scotland

The document should reflect the whole of Scotland and the various types of communities, including rural areas and islands. Consideration of the whole cycling landscape, and varying drivers and

motivations to cycle, is crucial to succeed in achieving modal shift in cycling. There are opportunities for cycling agencies to collaborate to keep people cycling by signposting them to clubs, groups and other cycling programmes. Recognising the need for this collaboration and providing strategic direction for the holistic development of the cycling landscape should be a priority for the new

framework. It was suggested that there should be one plan for cycling which covers transport, health & wellbeing, tourism, recreation and sport. Active travel is only one part of the cycling landscape.

Cycling Infrastructure

A preference for continuous, direct, safe and segregated cycling infrastructure with consistent design was expressed. It is important to learn from the Spaces for People programme which enabled us to see what could make us happy during the first lockdown. It is crucial that work is done to keep people cycling after the pandemic. This means continuing to make cycling safe, and easy with permanent segregated cycle paths and lanes. However, the infrastructure required for cycling is different from walking, and conflating the two transport modes into ‘active travel’ is not always helpful.

The Framework should support the Place Principle and 20-minute neighbourhoods should be able to constrain car development and offer local services within realistic cycling and walking distance on infrastructure that is safe and pleasant. Streamlining the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process would make the installation of cycle lanes quicker while integration with public transport is essential. Investment in on-street cycle storage is needed.


The whole life costs of infrastructure should be considered to include maintenance. Bidding for funding can be time consuming so that smaller local authorities can be disadvantaged. There should be a significant increase in budget commitment for all types of cycling.

Children and Young People

Learning to ride a bike and having access to a bike should be a right for every child. Policy interventions should be targeted at schools and at different stages of young peoples’ lives using the curriculum, where possible. This includes early years where training should be provided for professionals and bikeability should be made available. Curriculum resources could include bike maintenance and explain how a bike works. The joy of the journey should be promoted throughout a person’s life, enabling children to see the fun of cycling and the freedom it offers. Teacher training providers could include training in cycling in a systematic way. Parents should be involved to co-create programmes e.g., for road safety.


This is key and can be supported through initiatives such as 20mph streets, School Streets and a system to report and record dangerous driving behaviour. It is linked to training in cycling, including for children.

Supporting Businesses and Social Enterprises

There’s an opportunity to support innovation and new businesses to meet the demand for manufacturing of new bikes, e-bikes, bike parts, refurbished bikes, clothing and for servicing bikes through capacity building of the supply chain. This could support new jobs through vocational pathways.

Equalities Considerations

There’s a need to be conscious of the potential negative impact of cyclists on disabled people who feel a heightened level of anxiety if they cycle on pavements and the conflict between cyclist and pedestrians. It was suggested that more disabled people should be employed to represent their communities and to inform accessibility considerations. Effective consultation with them on plans and projects is needed.

Cycling is not always accessible if people can’t afford a bike, equipment, somewhere safe to store the bike or need an adaptive bike. Easy access should be provided. There could be a mandate to local authorities to deliver cycling programmes in SIMD communities which gives cycling purpose and motivates people to cycle.

Behaviour Change/Attitudes

Changing attitudes to cycling is needed- there is too much focus on cars. Promoting the benefits of cycling is needed. Alongside this, more evidence of the benefits – health, environmental, social, economic. Equalities etc, should be shared, especially from Scotland. Campaigns need to relate to a wide audience to help break down barriers and reinforce the benefits – we need to make it inspiring and emphasise the fun, social and health benefits of cycling.

Preparing people for the changes in their habits that are needed to support carbon reduction and the reduction in car kms is important. The value of time should be reconsidered, and active travel should not be thought of as ‘lost’ time. Involving people through Citizens’ Panels would be beneficial. For young people, consideration could be given to ways to make cycling cool and interesting and schools could include books that are linked to cycling.


There is a need to gather and utilise robust data in decision making to determine what interventions work and what will make the biggest difference and return on investment. Evaluation needs to be more longitudinal – has the investment in various programmes one of two years later made any difference to the behaviours and habits of how people cycle or not? More investment in automatic cycle counters will help to inform trends.

Stakeholder Survey

Following initial consultation in 2021, a Draft Framework and Delivery Plan has been produced taking into account the feedback above from stakeholders. A second wave of stakeholder consultation took place in January-February 2022 in the form of an online survey distributed to key stakeholders.

The survey comprised of a review of key issues and evidence and an initial, high-level assessment of potential impacts associated with the strategic themes and actions within the draft Framework. 22 stakeholder responses were received. Survey questions are provided in Appendix B.

The questions and key findings are outlined below:

Additions and/or changes to the proposed Strategic Themes

Behaviour change

Under ‘Effective Resourcing’ and ‘Training and Education’, the emphasis should be on supporting behaviour change programmes in the first instance

Resourcing & Funding

The statement that the top priority is dedicated, high quality, safe cycling infrastructure…needs to include a commitment that long-term resourcing in the form of both Capital and Revenue funding is necessary.

Can more detail be added and greater clarity on budgets be given…? Does this Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan have cross party support in the Scottish Parliament to ensure change can be implemented across Scotland and at greater pace? Without a clear steer on the way forward, change will continue to be slow.

Future Mobility

Include something in the Strategic Themes ‘about technology. Recognising the rise of eBikes, cargo bikes etc ….be aware of and monitor these technologies. It would also be useful to have something about…cycling forming part of future MaaS solution.

The Training & Education strategic theme will require significant Revenue funding commitment to ensure effective long-term behavioural change…Resourcing also needs to recognise the need for ongoing maintenance with an increased and extended cycling infrastructure network and facilities… 

Formatting / Wording changes

The word 'prioritise' is used in two of the statements supporting the strategic themes…amend to ensuring/promoting/increasing. 

While there is an argument that network planning belongs under safe cycling infrastructure, the themes should primarily give an effective structure for this policy rather than replacing the strategic objectives and outcomes of the active travel outcomes framework.

Suggested themes

…recommend a strategic theme of Safe Road Infrastructure to emphasise the importance of these actions, such as 20mph zones, speed management reviews, junction redesign and physically redesigning roads to slow traffic speeds.

Additions and/or changes to the Policy Overview section

Additional policy documents

  • Clean Air for Scotland 2
  • Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan for Scotland 2021 22 to 2025 26
  • Scotland's Mental Health Strategy
  • Green Networks
  • Local Active Travel Strategies
  • Sustainable Investment and Travel Hierarchy
  • Housing to 2024

Elected Members

Elected members to be directly accountable for implementation of national policies

Active Travel

STPR2 specifies active travel routes to schools and on trunk roads *in urban areas* only…these are equally important in rural areas.

Formatting / text changes

The word ‘capital’ should be deleted from this sentence to bring the document into line with the Programme for Government: “In Scotland, a commitment has been made that 10% of the transport capital budget will go towards active travel by 2026.” The Scottish Government commitment is to “spend at least £320 million, or 10% of the total transport budget, on active travel by 2024‑25”

Suggest that page 12, Paragraph 3, sentence 2 is updated to reflect that all forms of sustainable transport are preferable to the car and better reflects wording of NPF4. “… building 20 minute neighbourhoods that promote high quality walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure, minimising the need to travel unsustainably.”

Delivery of related documents

It would be useful if this section was clearer on how the Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan relates to the various documents, beyond noting it aligned to the documents. For example, is the Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan going to deliver elements of the documents?

Additions and/or changes to the Evidence Base section

Rural areas

STPR2 seems to have an emphasis on Urban areas but active travel routes are just as important in rural areas.


Enabling access to cycling by all. Could include different bike types e.g., e-Bikes, adapted bikes, Cargo bikes.

Behaviour change

Greater emphasis is required on future action to disincentivise the use of the car, particularly for short everyday journeys. For example, reference to road pricing/congestion charge initiatives.

Greater emphasis should be given to the development of people's competence and confidence on bikes and having fun. Having cycling facilities and communities such as cycle clubs can provide these opportunities.

Training for Children is a key area. Potential to expand to skills awards and cycling sports festivals etc.


Training for adults


The earlier National Transport Strategy (NTS2) review included a Roles & Responsibilities Review, the outputs from which should be available and used to inform development of more effective and appropriate delivery models for Scotland.

Refer to documents such as the TfL plan on implementing cycle parking…and the official Government reporting on active travel progress in England.

We recommend discussion of other measures that can be employed to make shared road space safer especially by reducing the speed of traffic, for example redesigning road layouts to slow traffic.

Delivery of the plan

It would be useful if the evidence base was clearer on what this means for Scotland and the Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan in terms of how the system is going to be changed in Scotland to ensure a step change in cycling infrastructure and behaviour change and therefore an increase in cycling and the resulting health, environmental and other outcomes.

It would add clarity in terms of what the budget can achieve and therefore whether it is enough to deliver the actions.

Other considerations

We must bear in mind that the Scottish climate and lifestyle are not always conducive with Active Travel. The challenges faced are therefore greater than in some of the examples provided.

International comparison

Paragraph 6, funding: final sentence: clarification needed on how this figure of 10% compares internationally. We hear amounts of investment in Paris but percentages for Scotland, can this be standardised, so comparisons are more useful?

Additions and/or changes to be included in the Action Plan

Include estimated dates in the actions section for when actions are to be completed by


Expand the safe cycling infrastructure actions:

  • Support cycling journeys to and from public transport requires investment to install cycling parking facilities at stations or near stations.
  • Promote cargo bikes as the normal choice for local deliveries. If cargo bikes are to be carried on trains, then significant investment is required to carry out feasibility studies into new fixings to secure them and also potentially removing seats that generate revenue.

Add funding sources to actions


Fast implementation of temporary cycling infrastructure has failed through lack of adequate pre-consultation and should not be encouraged again.

Actions should be numbered for ease of reference


Effective resourcing – Funding should include money for maintenance. The section should also be clear that ‘human’ resources are as much a constraint/necessity as financial resources.

Cycling By Design

The standards newly released in Cycling By Design are worth incorporating with acknowledgement that this will apply to maintenance of existing infrastructure as well as production of new infrastructure.



  • Adult training is equally important… For promotion, target girls as they are a particular group who struggle and also use real life examples of people to promote cycling as everyday people relate better to others like them.

Support the travel demand management measures aligned with the national 20% car km reduction route map


Fair access

  • Continue to facilitate trials for businesses and individuals of eBikes, cargo bikes etc.

The role of regional active travel strategies should be included in the actions


Network planning and monitoring – Not just 20% reduction but also imbedding the concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

RTPs should be included as delivery partners for actions related to integration matters and movement of goods


There are a number of references to ‘Produce Active Travel Strategies for each local authority area’. It should be made clear that this includes improving, developing and rapidly implementing existing strategies, as opposed to starting from scratch. 

Actions related to integration with public transport should include ferries and suggest considering including a reference to mobility hubs to link with STPR2


The following two areas arguably belong under effective resourcing:

  • Highway Code
  • Road Safety Framework

In line with the independent review of CAPS (2020), specific dates and/or timescales should be added to the actions wherever possible


Recommend splitting the ‘Action’ category to show if these are short or med term actions.

Clear concise actions in the Delivery Plan are key and longer-term aspirations, if they’re felt necessary, should be discrete actions


Recommend including more detail and clarity regarding who is leading, responsible and accountable for each action. 

There is a need for a better analysis of the current barriers to delivery of, in particular, local infrastructure; and then a clear set of steps to reduce or eliminate these barriers


Recommend ensuring, where possible, that actions in the plan are SMART

It is not clear what form of support and encouragement local authorities will receive from Transport Scotland and others to develop and implement their Active Travel Strategies, nor what these Strategies should, as a minimum, contain

Action 1
  • Expand access to bikes, including adaptive bikes.’ This action is particularly lacking in detail. We recommend expanding to describe the action to make this happen.

Leadership is mentioned a number of times and the international experience shows that this is very important, but few specific actions are listed to develop either national or local leadership

Action 2
  • We believe that Active Freeways should be viewed as trunk roads for cycling and active travel around which Local Authorities create denser local networks. We therefore recommend that the wording of this action be changed to show that the blueprint should inform the Local Authority AT Strategies.
  • Requires further clarity on funding sources.
  • If blueprint is to be informed by LA AT Strategies, the first step must be to identifying gaps across Scotland and resourcing LA's to prepare these strategies.

It is not clear what types of measures will be implemented, and by whom, to achieve the ultimate road safety goal of no deaths or serious injuries on Scotland’s roads, as set in the Road Safety Framework

Action 3
  • It won’t always be possible for a network of fully traffic-free routes. Low-volume and low-speed streets might also have to be part of this network.

Remove emphasis on town and city so that rural settlements are not left without a coherent network of footpaths and cycle routes

Additional action – recommend, an urgent piece of work is done to understand a realistic and achievable target in terms of increasing cycling rates or modal shift by 2030. We recommend looking at the example of other countries and cities which have made great strides in increasing cycling rates

Action 5
  • Emphasis on town and city seems to exclude AT links to public transport in rural areas.

‘Introduce pilot schemes at schools to provide an alternative to the school bus with segregated cycle routes, cycle training, provision of bikes, facilities at school’ We want to see cycle lanes separated from traffic to help children cycle to school safely

Add Scottish Cycling for responsibility for training cycling coaches and leaders

Action 6
  • The wording ‘Avoid delays in implementation of cycling infrastructure by adapting and adopting the TRO process’ is unclear. There does not appear to be any background in the document as to the issues and what this means.
  • Consideration should be given to more emphasis on CPO powers to deliver AT infrastructure.
Action 11
  • We would like councils to more actively use the compulsory purchase powers that they already have to create cycle infrastructure. We would like to see a this included as an action in the Delivery Plan.
Action 21
  • As well as Police Scotland enforcing dangerous driving towards cyclists further emphasis needs to be placed on the requirement for Police Scotland to enforce 20mph speed limits wherever the Roads Authority consider it necessary regardless of methods to influence driver speed.
Highway Code
  • This action is one that would benefit from more detail as changing behaviour on this matter will require ongoing promotion and should start at a national level.
Aspirations and actions

Clarity on the implications of classifying something as an aspiration rather than an action is required in the document.

Additions and/or changes to address inequalities Theme

Equal access

Consider whether the existing TRO process is an effective means of public engagement. Its reform if done correctly should not reduce the influence of people with disabilities.

Specify groups and communities, including children, to be targeted for expanding access to free bikes, with regard to fair access. 

Expand the NCN network

Skye has no NCN, and many parts of Highland have no trunk road, so action would have little benefit to them. 

Build on NCN and proposals for active freeways. Action needs to commit to reinstating NCN routes where they were declassified & expanding to areas where NCN does not exist. 

Inclusive funding criteria

The specific action around funding criteria requires the involvement of different groups, especially of voices which may otherwise be marginalised. 

Adjust impact assessment scoring

Some of the scoring in the impact assessments unjustifiably scores impacts of actions too negatively.

Additions and/or changes to the Monitoring and Review section

New action

A further action is required concerning monitoring the impacts of new cycle infrastructure on disabled people, including lessons for future designs

Specify targets

Without specified measurable targets for each indicator, progress towards 2030 cannot be shown. Indicators to be developed to be quantifiable.      

2022 census

The imminent Census could be useful to inform some aspects of baseline information.

Detail on indicators required

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

  • Define short journeys and why would you not have people travelling to work as an indicator if you have travel to school and walking and cycling for pleasure/ exercise?

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

  • How will “Quality of walking and cycling infrastructure” be measured? Is it based on condition reports or perceptions of users? Or both?

Walking, cycling and wheeling is available to all 

  • Household access to a bike (with focus on regional and socio-economic variation). Will this just take into account bikes in a household, or will it reflect if users have joined a bike hire scheme, have access to pool bikes at work etc?

Will there be monitoring reports throughout the life of the plan and, if so, how frequently?

Indicators at different levels

It would be helpful if indicators are disaggregated automatically at local level (and regional, where possible), to facilitate consistency in strategy monitoring at various levels.

Additional comments

Additional comments at the end of the survey included:

  • A national media campaign to educate the public in the need for change is needed to break the message out beyond just interested individuals and industry specialists
  • Include reference to ferry terminals in access public transport integration
  • Include ‘wheeling’ in the vision
  • Refer to the resilience of cycling during Covid-19
  • These actions must go hand in hand with the tougher policies aimed at changing behaviour to get people out of their car
  • The difference between expected change to cycling journeys in rural and urban areas should be considered.