5 Existing Population Profile

5 Existing Population Profile

This section describes the health profiles of regions and communities within the study area.

5.1 National Context

5.1.1 Health and Social Inequalities

The Edinburgh Community Health Partnership has prepared a Discussion Paper entitled Towards a Joint Health Improvement Plan (April 2008). This document sums up health issues in Scotland as follows:

‘Scotland as a whole has a poor health record in relation to most European nations, but national trends for health and health related behaviours are positive, with steady improvement across a range of indicators. However, over the last 20 years more advantaged social groups have seen a faster improvement in health, leading to an increase in the health gap between those at the top and the bottom of the social scale. The lowest socio-economic groups still have very poor health by national and international comparisons.’

5.1.2 Neighbourhoods and Communities

The Scottish Government National Indicator on the proportion of adults who rate their neighbourhood as a good place to live (2007) found that 93% of adults in Scotland rated their neighbourhood as a fairly or very good place to live.

Results from the 2007 Scottish Household Survey showed that, while the most deprived areas are similar to the rest of Scotland in terms of what residents like about them, there are marked differences in terms of what they dislike, with much greater dissatisfaction with quality of life issues such as the unpleasant or unsafe environments, problem residents and lack of sense of community.

5.1.3 Physical Activity

The Scottish Health Survey shows that 72% of women and 59% of men in Scotland are not active enough for health. The scale of physical inactivity makes this the most common risk factor for coronary heart disease in Scotland, above smoking and obesity. The proportion of sedentary adults (below 30 minutes physical activity per week) from the lowest socio-economic groups is twice that of those from the highest socio-economic groups.

Scottish Transport Statistics on the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) website (Scottish Public Health Observatory, 2009) show that in terms of active travel, the proportion of journeys made by private motor transport has increased slightly over the period 1995/96 – 2005/6. Survey data from 2001-2007 show that around 14% of adults aged 16 years and over usually walked to work, 1% cycled, and over 60% usually drove or were passengers in a car or van.

5.2 Regional Context

5.2.1 Health and Social Inequalities

The Scottish Government’s Annual Population Survey shows that the City of Edinburgh, Fife and West Lothian have above average levels of economic activity compared with Scotland as a whole (National Statistics, 2007).

Data from the 2001 Census, displayed on the ScotPHO website, shows that in the City of Edinburgh, the percentage of adults in households classified as Social Grade AB (higher and intermediate managerial / administrative / professional) is significantly higher than the national average at 27.2% compared with a national average of 19%. However, in Fife and West Lothian the percentage of adults in social grade AB drops to below the national average.

5.2.2 Neighbourhoods and Communities

According to the Scottish Government’s Scottish Household Survey, the percentage of respondents that rate their neighbourhood as a ‘good’ or ‘fairly good’ place to live is the same as the national average for Scotland in West Lothian and the City of Edinburgh, but just below average for Fife (Scottish Government, 2009).

5.2.3 Community Health and Wellbeing Profiles

Community Health and Wellbeing Profiles have been produced by the Scottish Public Health Observatory. The Community Health Partnership (CHP) areas have been characterised according to 61 indicators covering health (e.g. life expectancy and self assessed health), health related behaviours (e.g. active commuting) and the wider determinants of health (e.g. education and employment). Each indicator is compared to the Scottish average and identified as being significantly better, significantly worse or not significantly different.

The HIA focuses on the following CHP areas:

  • Dunfermline and West Fife (population 139,242);
  • West Lothian (population 165,700); and
  • Edinburgh (population 463,510).

It is recognised that the effects of the proposed scheme in terms of economic and transport impacts would extend beyond these areas therefore reference is also made to the following CHP:

  • North of the Firth of Forth: Glenrothes and North East Fife; Perth and Kinross; Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth; and Clackmannanshire; and
  • South of the Firth of Forth: Falkirk; Midlothian; and East Lothian.

Each CHP area covers a wide geographic area and includes a large and diverse population. Data at this level would mask significant variations in local conditions within the CHP areas. The review below is intended to provide a broad context for the health impact assessment.

The CHP area boundaries are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 – Community Health Partnership Areas

Figure 1 – Community Health Partnership Areas

CHP Profiles: Within Scheme Footprint

Table 4 provides a summary of the indicator scores for the three CHP areas within which the scheme would be constructed, indicating the overall level of health and wellbeing in each area within the national context.

Table 4: Summary of indicator scores for local CHP areas

CHP Area

Better than average scores

Not significantly different

Worse than average scores

Dunfermline and West Fife




West Lothian








Edinburgh is the most urban of these CHP areas, and is significantly better off than Scotland as a whole in terms of the majority of health and wellbeing indicators. West Lothian and Dunfermline & West Fife are largely rural, although both contain significant urban settlements. These CHP areas are also significantly better than average compared to the rest of Scotland, but not to the extent of Edinburgh.

All three CHP areas are significantly better than average in terms of the number of people living within the 15% most ‘access deprived’ areas of Scotland. As with all locations, smaller pockets of relatively more deprived areas will be found within the overall CHP area.

CHP Profiles: Wider Areas – South

The CHP areas along the south side of the Forth Valley are largely rural, although there are significant urban areas within Falkirk. All three CHP areas show a high proportion of indicators in the ‘better than average’ category. All three CHP areas are significantly better than average in terms of the number of people living within the 15% most ‘access deprived’ areas of Scotland.

Table 5: Community Health and Wellbeing Profiles for Wider Areas South

CHP Area

Better than average scores

Not significantly different

Worse than average scores

East Lothian












CHP Profiles: Wider Areas – North

The wider CHP areas to the north are more varied than to the south, with Perth and Kinross and Glenrothes and North East Fife being significantly better off than Scotland as a whole in terms of the majority of socio-economic and health indicators. However both these areas have a greater than average number of people living within the 15% most ‘access deprived’ areas in Scotland. In contrast to this, the Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth CHP area has a high proportion of indicators in the ‘worse than average’ category.

Table 6: Community Health and Wellbeing Profiles for Wider Areas North

CHP Area

Better than average scores

Not significantly different

Worse than average scores

Glenrothes & North East Fife




Kirkcaldy & Levenmouth








Perth & Kinross




5.3 Local Profile

The communities most local to the proposed scheme are described below.

5.3.1 Around Ferrytoll Junction and the Northern Approach Viaduct

To the west of the M90 is the community of Rosyth, built around the coastal port south of Dunfermline. It is separated from neighbouring Inverkeithing by the M90. Rosyth is a town with a population of 12,865 (Fife Council, 2007). Rosyth has a relatively young population, with below average aged numbers over 45. The majority of the population (67%) rate their general health as good (Scotland’s Census results, 2001), which is just below the Scottish average (see Table 7 below).

East of the M90 is Inverkeithing. Established as a port town, Inverkeithing is a growing town with many new housing sites and a population of 5,265. Although the majority of the population of Inverkeithing rate their general health as good, the percentage is below the Scottish average.

North Queensferry, with a population of 1,095, lies to the south east of the proposed northern alignment beyond the Forth Road Bridge (Fife Council, 2007). The percentage of the population rating their general health as ‘good’ is above the national average for Scotland.

Further to the north lies the larger town of Dunfermline. With a population of 45,462 (Fife Council, 2007), this is the second largest settlement in Fife. Traditionally an industrial town producing textiles, the economy is largely dependent on financial and service sector jobs. Self-rated health is just above the national average.

5.3.2 Around the Southern Approach Viaduct, Queensferry Junction and the Southern Alignment

The southern approach viaduct is close to the residential areas on the west side of South Queensferry. There are also a number of properties at Linn Mill, located west of the southern approach viaduct. South Queensferry has a population of approximately 9,370 people, and self-rated health is significantly above the national average.

The area of the proposed scheme alignment to the west and south of South Queensferry is rural, with scattered farms, dwellings and small villages such as Newton (population approximately 170), which lies approximately 2km west of the alignment.

5.3.3 Around M9 Junction 1a

The proposed works at the M9 Junction 1a would take place close to Kirkliston, a small town with a population of approximately 3,000. Kirkliston is adjacent to the M9 which is located to the south and west of the town. Kirkliston used to be home to a number of industries, including a Drambuie Liqueur factory, and whisky distillery, but is now primarily a dormitory town for Edinburgh. Self-rated health is significantly above average.

Further west, the village of Winchburgh is located approximately 1km from the edge of the M9. The B9080 and B8020 both pass through Winchburgh. According to the 2001 Census, self-rated health for the population of Winchburgh is very similar to the national average. A development plan that aims to create an extension to Winchburgh, providing 3,450 homes, employment space and community facilities is currently in the planning process.

5.3.4 Health Ratings

Table 7 below shows the self-rated health in the towns and villages within the study area.

Table 7: Self-Rated Health Ratings


Self-Rated Health (%)


Fairly Good

Not good









North Queensferry








South Queensferry












Scottish Average