AECOM has been commissioned by Transport Scotland (TS) to undertake a series of impact assessments on the Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel (the Cycling Framework). This includes the following:

  • A Combined Social and Equality Assessment (SEQIA),to include:
    • Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA);
    • Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA);
    • Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA); and
    • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment (FSDA).
  • Separate Impact Assessments for: 
    • Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA); and
    • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

A separate Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening report was also submitted to the Scottish Government SEA Gateway. The screening assessment determined that a full SEA is not required.

  • This report sets out an ICIA assessment of the actions within the Cycling Framework based on existing evidence and previous assessment work.

This report has been updated and expanded following a 12 week period of consultation and the feedback and findings of the consultation will contribute towards completing a full assessment. A record of consultation comments and actions taken in response is provided in Appendix B.

Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel

Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan sets out 38 Actions, under five strategic themes, which are aimed at achieving the cycling elements within the five Active Travel objectives within Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Framework:

  1. Cut carbon emissions and other pollution
  2. Delivering liveable, more pleasant communities
  3. Better health and safer travel for all
  4. Reducing inequalities - jobs, services, leisure
  5. Supporting delivery of sustainable economic growth

By helping to achieve the objectives of the Active Travel Framework, the actions within the Cycling Framework will contribute to achieving the Vision and the Priorities of Scotland’s second National Transport Strategy (NTS2).

Alongside the Climate Change Plan and Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework, NTS2 provides the strategic policy basis for the active travel interventions detailed in the Cycling Framework. 

The Climate Change Plan update (CCPu) provides emissions reduction pathways for the transport sector equating to a halving of emissions by 2028, 70% reduction by 2040 and net-zero by 2045. The CCPu outlines eight policy outcomes designed to achieve the required level of emissions reduction. Active travel interventions contribute directly to CCPu Outcome 1 (Reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030). Impact assessments have been produced and are available.

NPF4 sets out how the planning system will help to deliver on the net-zero carbon reduction target under its overarching spatial strategy and strategic policies. The Cycling Framework will help support the delivery of NPF4 strategic policies 7 (Local living) and 10 (Sustainable Transport). Impact assessments have been produced and are available.

The Second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) will provide a suite of transport interventions intended to deliver the outcomes of NTS2 over the coming two decades. STPR2 will include a raft of active travel interventions which are likely to be delivered, in part, via the delivery mechanisms proposed in the Cycling Framework. Impact assessments have been produced and are available.

Relevant Legislation

The ICIA assesses the impacts of each of the policies within the NTS2 Delivery Plan and will help to demonstrate TS’s compliance with the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, which it has a legal duty to consider in the delivery of its policies, programmes and projects.

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 3 of The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 (Scottish Parliament, 2018) required Scottish Ministers to prepare a National Islands Plan to set out the duty of relevant authorities within the meaning of the Act to consider the impacts of policies, strategies, and services on island communities.

Part 2 - Section 3 lists the outcomes considered in the National Islands Plan for improving island communities. These include:

  1. increasing population levels,
  2. improving and promoting
    1. sustainable economic development,
    2. environmental wellbeing,
    3. health and wellbeing, and
    4. community empowerment.
  3. improving transport services,
  4. improving digital connectivity,
  5. reducing fuel poverty,
  6. ensuring effective management of the Scottish Crown Estate (that is, the property rights and interests to which section 90B(5) of the Scotland Act 1998 applies), and
  7. enhancing biosecurity (including protecting islands from the impact of invasive non-native species).

Part 3 - Section 7 outlines relevant authorities’ duty to have regard to island communities in carrying out its functions. Section 8 of this Act requires the Scottish Ministers, as a relevant authority, to prepare an island communities impact assessment in relation to a policy, strategy, or service, which, in the authority's opinion, is likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities) in the area in which the authority exercises its functions.

An ICIA must:

  1. describe the likely significantly different effect of the policy, strategy, or service (as the case may be), and
  2. assess the extent to which the authority considers that the policy, strategy or service (as the case may be) can be developed or delivered in such a manner as to improve or mitigate, for island communities, the outcomes resulting from it.

The National Islands Plan 2019

In December 2019, Scottish Ministers published the first ever National Islands Plan which was created with the input of many islanders and those with a strong interest in Scotland’s islands.

The Plan sets out 13 Strategic Objectives which are critical to improving the quality of life for island communities.

Fairness is a key value that underpins the National Islands Plan and reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to equality and human rights. The Plan recognises that every member of society has a right to live with dignity and to enjoy high quality public services wherever they live. This commitment is also included as a National Outcome within Scotland’s National Performance Framework.

Island Communities Impact Assessments: Guidance and Toolkit

In October 2020, the Scottish Government issued guidance on ICIA under Section 11 of the Islands (Scotland) 

Act 2018 and relates to the duty imposed by Section 7 of the Act. The guidance shows how to assess and take into account the impacts policies, strategies or services might have on island communities in Scotland through a seven-step process as outlined below:

  1. Define the issue
  2. Understand the situation
  3. Consultation
  4. Assessment ICIA required?
  5. Prepare your ICIA
  6. Making adjustments to your work
  7. Publishing your ICIA