This section summarises the results of the Assessment exercise which are presented in Appendix A. Below is a summary of the screening exercise, drawing out the potential impacts (positive and negative) from the actions within the delivery plan.
Protected Characteristic Groups
Safety is one of the most common reasons for people choosing not to cycle, although this affects all users, disabled people, women and older people are often more affected by safety concerns. Improvements to safe cycling infrastructure across the actions are likely to have a positive impact on these groups by providing them with greater confidence to cycle.
It is expected that the introduction of framework actions will contribute to modal shift from motorised vehicles to active travel modes which will have a positive impact on noise and air pollution. Older people and children are more vulnerable to the adverse health effects of transport-related emissions as such will experience a greater impact to this change. Therefore, actions to reduce emissions could also reduce health inequalities for these groups. However, the extent to which exposure to air pollution will be reduced will depend on the number of car journeys reduced and if actions are targeted in the areas with highest air pollution levels.
Ethnic minority groups are more likely to live in deprived communities which are often in proximity to higher speed and trafficked roads, this may act as barrier to the uptake of active travel. Improving safety in these locations will have a positive impact on people from this group.
Disabled people face a number of barriers when wishing to cycle this includes the cost of a suitable bike and inaccessible infrastructure for all bike types. Improved access to adaptive bikes and revision to cycling infrastructure will help to improve transport opportunities for disabled people. Feedback from disabled users of active travel infrastructure indicates that some approaches, such as “bus stop bypasses” present unique challenges in ensuring disabled people feel safe when interacting with cars and bikes. As a result, new measures introduced into the streetscape which prioritise cycles and pedestrians over cars and other motorised vehicles need to be carefully designed with the needs of disabled users in mind.
Changes to Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) have the potential result in negative impacts to older and disabled people. Rapid changes to infrastructure can have a disproportionate effect on older and disabled people, as they may result in changes to routes, they are required to take, potentially increasing journey times. Walking is the main mode of travel for blind and partially sighted people, and it is often very important to them that they can make walking journeys independently. Therefore, fast implementation of new infrastructure can have an adverse impact to this group of people affecting their independence to undertake everyday journeys. At present the TRO process mandates statutory minimum levels of consultation and objections must be addressed. Care is therefore needed when implementing any active travel scheme through a fast-track process to ensure that equality and disability groups are properly included and consulted to ensure unwarranted and negative health side effects occur for these groups.
Socio-economically Disadvantaged Groups
People who are from socio-economically disadvantaged groups are more likely to be reliant on low-cost modes of transport such as public transport or active travel. Deprived communities are more likely to live in proximity to busier, high speed roads and are more likely to be in a road traffic accident than more affluent areas. Greater provision of safe infrastructure and measures to encourage reduction in car use may help support active travel as a low-cost transport mode which can enable people in these communities to reach a wider range of employment, education and training opportunities.
People living in rural communities may be at greater risk of transport poverty due to barriers associated with remoteness, safety and public transport frequency, which can result in people becoming isolated or reliant on private car journeys. Actions include improving rural active travel links, may help to provide low-cost transport options to these communities.
Improving access to bikes and cycle training will contribute to the uptake of cycling among those affected by socio-economic disadvantage and provide an alternative low-cost transport option. Actions relating to the provision of comprehensive cycle training will also expand the pool of those likely to benefit from increased physical activity.
Children and Young People
Children and young people are most at risk of being involved in a traffic accident out of all pedestrian casualties, supporting the improvement of cycling infrastructure and measures to reduce car usage may provide young people with the opportunity to reach wider destinations as well as travel independently.
Most households in Scotland do not have access to a bike for private use and not having access to a bike is one of the greatest barriers to the uptake of cycling ensuring improved access and provision of bikes to school children who cannot afford one will help to support equal opportunities between young people from all backgrounds. Improving access to bicycles, including adaptive bikes and providing free bicycles to school-aged children is expected to have a positive impact in terms of health and physical activity amongst those on lower incomes.