Island Communities Impact Assessment - Transport Scotland Approach to Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (ACCAR)

Step one - develop a clear understanding of your objectives

  • What are the objectives of the policy, strategy or service?
  • What are the intended impacts/ outcomes and how do these potentially differ across the islands?

The ACCAR sets out Transport Scotland’s approach to adaptation and resilience in relation to climate change. The ACCAR addresses climate risks relating to transport identified under the Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk. The risks are detailed across four high-level Strategic Outcomes and various Sub-Outcomes through which a well-adapted and resilient transport network for the future is delivered, including:

  • Trunk Roads - Trunk roads which are well adapted and resilient to the current, projected and unexpected impacts of climate change. 
  • Rail Network - Supporting the delivery of climate change adaptation and resilience for Scotland’s rail network. 
  • Aviation Network - Engaging with aviation stakeholders to support their decision making in relation to climate change adaptation and resilience. 
  • Maritime Network - Contributing to safeguarding lifeline ferry services, ports, harbours and canals in response to the threat of climate change. 

The intended outcomes will not have an effect on island communities that differs significantly from other communities between islands and on the mainland. Additionally, the ACCAR does not set out specific interventions or projects, it provides a strategic direction for the transportation sector to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Step two – gather tour data and identify your stakeholders

  • What data is available about the current situation in the islands?
  • Who are your key Stakeholders?
  • How does any existing data differ between islands?
  • Are there any existing design features or mitigations in place?

National Transport Strategy (NTS2)

Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2)

Transport Scotland works closely with a number of stakeholders and partners across various modes of transport including (but not limited to), Trunk Road Network Operation Companies, Network Rail, ScotRail Trains Limited, Office for Road and Rail (ORR), Highland and Island Airports Limited (HIAL), Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), Calmac Ferries Limited (CFL), Serco Northlink, and Scottish Canals.

Step three - consultation

  • Is there are information already gathered through previous engagements?
  • How will you carry out your consultation and in what timescales? Public meetings/Local Authorities/key Stakeholders
  • What questions will you ask when considering how to address island realities?
  • Separate consultation events for Island communities/Local Authorities?

An ICIA was undertaken for the NTS2 Delivery Plan 2020-22, which sets out a number of strategic policies, including development of the ACCAR. A consultation was also undertaken to capture a combination of quantitative and qualitative information, allowing respondents to share their views on the ICIA and provide feedback. The results from this ICIA and the consultation report were also used to inform the NTS2 Delivery Plan 2022-23, which commits to publication of the ACCAR.

The consultation was open to the public and stakeholders from the 3 November 2021 to 5 January 2022. The consultation was carried out over a two month period to give respondents adequate time to review the impact assessment reports and consultation form and provide their responses. However, the majority of the questions received no responses.

The STPR2 Final Summary Report, sets out transport recommendations for the next 20 years. STPR2 is one of the mechanisms for delivering the Vision, Priorities and Outcomes of the NTS2.

A statutory consultation period of 12 weeks providing stakeholders, and members of the public, with the opportunity to comment, ran until 15 April 2022.

This included the following specific sessions in which the impacts on islands were specifically presented:

  • STPR2 EqIA and Fairer Scotland Duty Information Session - 23 March 2022;
  • STPR2 Island Impact Assessments Information Session – 24 March 2022;
  • STPR2 SEA and EqIA Wider Information Session - 28 March 2022; and
  • STPR2 Impact Assessments Information Session - 31 March 2022

Feedback from this consultation has been used to finalise the STPR2 publications and its 45 recommendations. In parallel, a number of equality and environmental statutory impact assessments have been undertaken covering, amongst others, the ICIA.

Twenty-two regional workshops were held in May 2019 to identify problems and opportunities for each of the regions. A wide range of stakeholders were invited to these workshops including, for example, members from Local Authorities, Access Panels and Public Transport Providers. Ten national workshops were held throughout August and September 2019 as detailed above, with an Equalities Specific Workshop (including Island Communities) held on the 18 September 2019. Engagement included a range of online surveys, structured interviews, elected members engagement and business engagement events.

Step four - assessment

  • Does your assessment identify any unique impacts on island communities? (Further detail in the Guidance):
    • Demographic
    • Economic
    • Gaelic
    • Social
  • Does your assessment identify any potential barriers or wider impacts?
  • Are there mitigations already in place for these impacts raised?

It is not expected that the intended outcomes will have an effect on island communities, which is significantly different from the effect on other communities, and the ACCAR does not set out specific interventions or projects.

The Gaelic language is important to many island communities. However, this strategy will not have an impact on languages and the cultural heritage relevant to specific island communities.

Transport Scotland actively engages with operators, providing information and guidance where appropriate, on services and infrastructure projects through a variety of working and advisory groups.

If the increase in digital connection results in less journeys being required (such as to work, access healthcare, or other online services) then this could place less requirement on the islands’ infrastructure or reduce people’s environmental impact through journey reduction.

Climate change is likely to increase the intensity and frequency of severe and extreme weather events which could disrupt ferry services. In relation to climate change adaptation, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL) and Serco Northlink give consideration to current and future climate risks through a programme of upgrades and modernisation.

Runways and operations managed by HIAL should be able to continue as normal as temperatures increase due to climate change. However, there is the potential for prolonged periods of intense high temperatures which could deteriorate the integrity of a runway’s surface over time.

Flood protection and sea defence schemes are in place at several HIAL airports, with monitoring schemes at certain locations to inform future interventions.

Is a full Island Communities Impact Assessment required?

You should now determine whether, in your opinion, your policy, strategy or service is likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities). To form your opinion, the following questions should be considered:

  • Are there mitigations in place for the impacts identified and noted above from stakeholders and community consultations? (If further ICIA action is not required, complete the section below and publish).
  • Does the evidence show different circumstances or different expectations or needs, or different experiences or outcomes (such as levels of satisfaction, or different rates of participation)?
  • Are these different effects likely?
  • Are these effects significantly different?
  • Could the effect amount to a disadvantage for an island community compared to the mainland or between island groups?
  • If your answer is ‘no’ to the above questions, please complete the box below.

No to all.

A full Islands Community Impact Assessment is NOT required