Assessment summary

This section summarises the results of the assessment exercise which are presented in full in Appendix A. Below is a summary of the assessment exercise, drawing out the potential impacts (positive and negative) from the actions within the delivery plan.

Overall, actions as set out within the Cycling Framework are expected to have a broadly positive impact on island communities by encouraging greater use of cycling for shorter journeys and improving integration of active travel facilities and infrastructure with public transport. Increasing provision of cycle storage on bus services could have particular benefits for rural and island communities where longer-distances are often a necessity and cannot be easily covered by bicycle alone. However, support for small bus companies must also be considered in order to make this a viable option for all bus operators.

Support for development of active travel networks which build on the national cycle network could also encourage sustainable tourism, which could bring benefits to island communities, while actions to improve cycling safety along the trunk road network will have potentially significant benefits for residents of the Isle of Skye.

There are expected to be benefits of increasing awareness, understanding and competency of maintaining and riding bicycles across all use groups through providing training opportunities as well as providing free bicycles to all school aged children. However, it must be noted that some local authorities containing rural and island communities have previously adapted their cycle training programme to their local circumstances and dispersed communities and this could be acknowledged further in the Cycling Framework.

Potential adverse impacts for island communities could be incurred if funding for active travel is based on strategies which favour an approach to network planning more suited to dense urban centres. Similarly, it is unlikely that conurbations within island communities would lend themselves to measures such as active freeways and it must be ensured that island communities do not experience a differential level of cycle provision as a result. Active travel strategies guidance should, therefore, contain provision for infrastructure to be planned for the specific circumstances of island communities.

There remains some uncertainty over the impact that changes to statutory processes such as land acquisition and traffic regulation orders could have on island communities. If such changes alter the ability of island communities to influence decisions about land or road space allocation, impacts could be either positive or negative.