Conclusions and recommendations

Key findings

In brief, the report has found that there has been progress on implementing CAPS but that progress remains somewhat patchy and there are key areas that remain somewhat problematic, and in need of strengthening. Areas such as behaviour change and monitoring, and the implementation of the NCN, have been progressing reasonably well. Related to this is that those actions for which responsibility lies primarily with Transport Scotland and/or NGOs have also been progressing reasonably well.

The main problematic area is the relatively slow progress in implementing high quality safe cycling infrastructure at the local level, and in improving road safety for vulnerable users. These are local authority responsibilities primarily, and the slower progress is due to lower levels of funding and staffing than TS and national level NGOs together with the political challenges of implementing new cycling infrastructure where this involves allocating roadspace away from parked or moving private motor vehicles. The relatively slow progress may also be because CAPS is not completely clear that high quality safe segregated cycling infrastructure is the key measure that must be implemented if Scotland’s cycling mode share is to increase.

The report has also found that most other policy documents reviewed are aligned with the objectives of CAPS but do not offer it significant additional support, with the exception of national land use planning policy, which is favourable to CAPS at least in relation to the design of new settlements. The National Infrastructure Investment Strategy, in contrast, could be argued to work against achieving a higher mode share for active travel as its transport investments are focused on “strategic” networks which will have the effective of lengthening travel distances and increasing travel speeds, which in the medium to long term will lead to more dispersed land use, which is not conducive to active travel.


The recommendations of this report take the areas in which CAPS and related actions could be strengthened, as detailed in the previous chapter, and put forward in brief some possible ways to achieve these. These are listed below:

Improved active travel strategies

Condition receipt of funding on local authority having adopted a high-quality active travel strategy that includes a well-specified and outline costed plan of new active travel infrastructure, prioritised, and with a timescale for delivery. These active travel strategies should of course take cognisance of infrastructure plans already contained in existing local and regional active travel strategies.

Provide direct support to local authorities to produce high quality active travel strategies with new support staff, most likely in government itself rather than in Sustrans or other third party organisation. Given that these posts would be linked to the delivery of infrastructure, it is likely that their funding could be capitalised.

Support to local authorities on road space reallocation and traffic reduction

  • Provide guidance on modelling of road capacity reduction and roadspace reallocation.
  • Provide case studies of road capacity reduction and roadspace reallocation, including evidence regarding local economic impact and of actual traffic impacts compared to previously modelled impacts.
  • Changes to TRO process (see below).
  • Transport Scotland to pilot at least two schemes of roadspace reallocation to create high quality segregated cycle facilities and pedestrian facilities at Roads for All standard on trunk roads in small unbypassed towns, and to organise for local authority traffic engineers (not just active travel staff) site visits and training based on the experience. These projects must be included in STPR2.
  • For any authority that does implement a Workplace Parking Levy, condition its Ministerial approval on a certain proportion of the net proceeds being spent on active travel infrastructure.

TRO and Redetermination Order processes

Accept evidence of ATTF consultation that current processes are barrier to timely scheme delivery. Review experience in terms of public perceptions, awareness and feedback on implementation of works on Edinburgh’s Picardy Place which were carried out on the street prior to the approval/adoption of TROs and Redetermination Orders.

Consult on:

  • Giving equal legal weight in process to supporters as well as objectors of proposed TRO.
  • Reducing number/scale of measures requiring any TRO process (for example, a stipulated minimum length of double yellow line that can be implemented without a TRO, in the same way that bus stop clearways currently do not require a TRO).
  • Removing need for hearings for all measures on local roads.
  • Removing need for referral to Scottish Ministers of unresolved TROs and objections to Redetermination Orders.
  • Adopting English process for Experimental TROs (in England, Experimental TROs can be made permanent directly. In Scotland, the identical permanent order must be advertised and adopted before the Experimental Order expires).

Funding for local infrastructure

Increase national capital funding to a level and duration to provide sufficient funding for high quality local cycle networks to be introduced as specified in the improved Active Travel Strategies.

Reduce/eliminate need for match funding for segregated cycleways on arterial streets which involve significant reallocation of roadspace from private motor vehicles, parked or moving.

Consult on modification of road maintenance block grant to be calculated including off-road cycling and core path infrastructure; and consult on whether to remove all or part of the competitive award element of Community Links and Community Links Plus.

Staff capacity

Offer national funding to local authorities for employment of additional traffic engineering staff to work on design and implementation of active travel infrastructure. Since such posts would be infrastructure related, there is a strong possibility that they could be capitalised.

National guidance such as LTNs, DMRB, and TALs do not appear consistent with the new infrastructure designs but will continue to be used in conflict with new guidance

Ensure that process for new design guidance clarifies where and when it supersedes other guidance that is currently more relied upon by traffic engineers such as the DfT’s TALs, LTNs and DMRB.

Ensure that new guidance resolves conflicts between new road design for cycling and walking and older guidance such as DfT TALs. An example for pedestrians is the placing of signalled crossing on desire lines at or very close to junctions.

Separate guidance for trunk roads and local urban roads must be produced.

The guidance should reflect the requirement of the Equality Act to build reasonable adjustments into new schemes and maintenance schemes.

Ensure that any new guidance is consistent with TS’ own Roads for All document and any update of DfT’s Inclusive Mobility.

Guidance should be supplemented with a training course for traffic engineers in the use of the new guidance and its relationship to existing guidance that they use (LTNs, TALs, DMRB more than Designing Streets). Receipt of cycling and walking funds should be conditioned on all traffic engineering staff in a local authority completing the training course.

Increase access to bikes

Consider directly funding the purchase of new or second-hand bikes for all or a means tested proportion of the Scottish population. Using bulk purchase discounts, a basic new adult bike could be obtained for around £100. These could either be given to people or rented on a long-term basis to include maintenance (similar to a scheme operated in By way of comparison, the Air Discount Scheme for Scottish Island and Caithness residents costs around £113 per member per year (and is not means tested).

National leadership

See above, pilot small town trunk road schemes by Transport Scotland.

Higher national funding levels for active travel.

Organise smaller more focused meetings with senior local authority staff and transport convenors to explain the benefits of investment in active travel, and to explain the funding linked to it. Bring local politicians who are already committed to active travel to lead these meetings with their political counterparts in other authorities.

Road safety to reduce ped and cyclist KSIs

Study road safety infrastructure and legislation adopted by countries with lower KSI rates per trip or km travelled for cyclists and pedestrians.

Implement similar infrastructure on national roads, and legislation.

Introduce dedicated fund for local authorities to bid to expand 20mph zones that include speed reducing measures and to implement safety infrastructure found to be effective in other countries with lower KSI rates per trip or km travelled.

National Planning Framework and high density development

Assess likely economic impact of including in NPF4 presumption against greenfield development, at least in Scotland’s former City Regions.

Assess likely economic impact of stipulating minimum in NPF4 average densities for new residential development.

Seek to influence NPF4 on these issues.

Increase level of call in on planning applications that do not support walking and cycling in their proposed location and/or detailed design of internal street network and permeability.

Future version of CAPS

On the basis of this review of key documents, and the actions in CAPS and the ATTFDP, it is recommended that the next version of CAPS is much more of a strategically based plan that places more emphasis on the delivery of key actions to achieve the actions that the international evidence shows is required to increase levels of cycling. This means that it should have:

  • A vision
  • A set of clear objectives
  • A number of outputs and outcomes that will measure the achievement of these objectives.
  • A set of actions, prioritised, and each with a clear timescale, cost estimate, funding source and a lead delivery organisation, that need to be delivered in order to achieve the plan’s objectives.
  • A monitoring and review process to ensure that the outputs and outcomes are being achieved (or not) and to understand why.

Fortunately the first three and the last one of the above bullet points already exist in the form of the adopted Active Travel Vision and the Active Travel Framework. Thus the additional work in producing the new CAPS must be focused on the development and specification of actions. Table 5.1 above sets out the highest priority actions, although does not specify costs, timescale or lead delivery organisation. It is recommended that the most important action is the first, on local Active Travel Strategies, which should each contain a local delivery plan for cycling and walking infrastructure. On the basis of this, many of the other actions can then be programmed. Work on leadership; on changing the TRO and RO processes; on new design guidance; and on roadspace reallocation can be run concurrently once work on local Active Travel Strategies commences.


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