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 Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

A separate Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening report was also submitted to the Scottish Government SEA is not required.

Due to similarities in baseline collection and transport issues shared by the groups covered by the EqIA, HIIA, CRWIA and FSDA, a combined approach has been taken to these assessments. Therefore, the term combined Social and Equality Impact Assessment (SEQIA) has been used to define these assessments. This report sets out an SEQIA assessment of the actions within the Framework based on existing evidence and previous assessment work.

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

This report has been updated and expanded, from an initial screening report, following a 12 week period of consultation and the feedback and findings of the consultation have contributed 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

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

  • Cut carbon emissions and other pollution
  • Delivering liveable, more pleasant communities
  • Better health and safer travel for all
  • Reducing inequalities - jobs, services, leisure
  • 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.

Evidence on health and equalities was provided for Scotland’s National Performance Framework and both statutory and non-statutory impact assessments, including SEQIA, have been conducted at each subsequent level of policy development, prior to the Cycling Framework.

In line with relevant guidance (see following sections) This assessment should be proportionate and specific to the scope of the cycling framework and delivery plan and recognise impact assessments already completed at higher levels of policy.

Relevant legislation

The SEQIA assesses the impacts of each of the actions within the Cycling Framework and will help to demonstrate TS’s compliance with specific legislation to which it has a legal duty to consider in the delivery of its policies, programmes and projects. This legislation includes:

  • The Equality Act 2010 and Public Sector Equality Duty (demonstrated through EqIA);
  • The Fairer Scotland Duty (part 1 of the Equality Act 2010)  (demonstrated through FSDA); and
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (demonstrated through CRWIA).

Equality Act 2010 and Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination both in the workplace and in wider society. It ensures that individuals with the following nine protected characteristics are not indirectly or directly discriminated against:

  • Age: This refers to persons defined by either a particular age or a range of ages;
  • Disability: A disabled person is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities;
  • Gender Reassignment: This refers to people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process for the purpose of reassigning their gender identity;
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership: Marriage can be between a man and a woman or between two people of the same sex. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples;
  • Pregnancy and Maternity: Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant and expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth;
  • Race: The Equality Act 2010 defines race as encompassing colour, nationality (including citizenship) and ethnic or national origins;
  • Religion or Belief: Religion means any religion a person follows. Belief means any religious or philosophical belief, and includes those people who have no formal religion or belief;
  • Sex: This refers to a man or to a woman, or to a group of people of the same sex; and,
  • Sexual Orientation: A person's sexual orientation relates to their emotional, physical and/or sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction

Section 149 of the Act sets out the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), to which Transport Scotland is subject in carrying out all its functions, including its consideration of Active Travel. Those subject to the PSED must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and,
  3. Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

The three aims of the duty apply to all protected characteristics, with the exception of marriage and civil partnership, where only the first aim is relevant.

The Equality Act 2010 explains that having due regard to the second aim involves:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages affecting people due to their protected characteristics;
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people; and
  • Encouraging people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

The PSED requires public bodies to take proactive measures to address inequality and help contribute to the government’s commitment to tackle disadvantage and discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and encourage good relations between all people.

Fairer Scotland Duty

The Equality Act 2010 (Authorities subject to the Socio-economic Inequality Duty) (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (the ‘Fairer Scotland Duty’) extended Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 to named public authorities in Scotland, including Transport Scotland (under the umbrella ‘Scottish Ministers’). It places a legal responsibility on the relevant authorities to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage. This differs from the Public Sector Equality Duty under Section 149 of the Equality Act which considers only reducing inequalities of opportunity.

Public bodies must also publish a written assessment under the Fairer Scotland Duty, demonstrating how they have considered inequalities of outcome when making any major strategic decision.

‘The Fairer Scotland Duty - Interim Guidance for Public Bodies’ (Scottish Government, 2018) identifies a need to consider both ‘communities of place’ and ‘communities of interest’ in terms of people who share an experience and are particularly impacted by socio-economic disadvantage. Demographic groups who share one or more of the protected characteristics listed in Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 can be considered ‘communities of interest’, meaning there is a direct link between the Fairer Scotland Duty and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Children and Young People (Scotland) Act (2014)

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act reflects the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in domestic law. Under Part 1, Section 2(1) of the Act, a relevant authority (including Transport Scotland) must take steps to secure better or further effect of the UNCRC requirements within its area of responsibility. The general principles identified by UNICEF (2019) are:

  • Non-discrimination;
  • Best interest of the child;
  • Right to survival and life development; and,
  • Right to be heard.

The UNCRC considers a child as any human being below 18 years old, unless majority is attained earlier under the law applicable to the child. In Scotland, a minor is a person under the age of 18 in most circumstances (NSPCC, 2019).

Part 9 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act on corporate parenting is relevant to certain public bodies, including Transport Scotland. Through corporate parenting, duties were introduced for the relevant public bodies to support certain children and young people; a child being every child looked after by a local authority and a young person being someone under the age of 26 and who was (but is no longer), on their 16th birthday or subsequently, looked after by the local authority.

The responsibilities of every corporate parent are:

  1. To be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of children and young people to whom this Part applies;
  2. To assess the needs of those children and young people for services and support it provides;
  3. To promote the interests of those children and young people;
  4. To seek to provide those children and young people with opportunities to participate in activities designed to promote their wellbeing;
  5. To take such action as it considers appropriate to help those children and young people
    1. to access opportunities it provides in pursuance of paragraph (d); and,
    2. to make use of services, and access support, which it provides; and,
  6. To take such other action as it considers appropriate for the purposes of improving the way in which it exercises its functions in relation to those children and young people.

Additional Guidance

Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA) is a non-statutory process that can help to raise health inequalities issues relevant to the SEQIA and other assessments being undertaken as part of an integrated approach.  The objective of integrating HIIA methodology is to maintain, or provide opportunities to improve, human health for all demographic groups and communities across Scotland and minimise health inequalities. The HIIA exceeds Transport Scotland’s legal duty in relation to the Equality Act 2010 by considering the distribution of potential impacts on health inequalities, human rights, socioeconomic circumstances and people with protected characteristics. It is not always necessary to complete a stand-alone HIIA and application of HIIA methodology should be proportionate to the nature, scale and scope of the proposal and kinds of impacts being assessed. Department of Health guidance also provides some simple screening questions, which have been considered in this assessment.

Guidance issued by the Scottish Health and Inequality Impact Assessment Network (SHIIAN) provides a conceptual framework for identifying the potential health impacts of a given plan or strategy by:

  • identifying the populations most likely to be affected by the plan or strategy
  • identifying the determinants of health (health related behaviour, social environment, physical environment, access to services) which are most likely to be affected by the plan or strategy
  • identifying the causal pathway between the proposed action, and its likely effect on the population of interest.

SHIIAN guidance recommends using a variety of sources of evidence including, but not limited to:

  • The community profile
  • Involvement of stakeholders and affected populations
  • Literature review of relevant research findings
  • Other primary data or quantification.

A review of available evidence has been included within section 3 of this report.