Consultation Digest (National) Issue 14, 9 Sept 2022: The one after the Programme for Government.

Summer is over and government is back to work. As Liz Truss was flying back to London after meeting the Queen at Balmoral, Nicola Sturgeon stood up in the Scottish Parliament to unveil her new Programme for Government 2022-23. The cost of living crisis was the theme of the day but cycling priorities haven’t been forgotten.

It was a much shorter version of the annual government workplan than previous years but it did still include priorities to enable cycling in Scotland. To be honest there wasn’t much new for active travel, which was disappointing after last year, but there were still positive policies for the Minister and his civil servants to get stuck into and deliver this year.

Read more in my analysis of the PfG from Cycling UK in Scotland.

Take a look back at the progress government made to deliver on last year’s PfG commitments in Cycling UK’s recent PfG status report.

Good to see people riding bikes featured on the cover this year.

Section 1: Current Consultations

(in date order for responses)

1.1: Scottish Government –  Land reform in a Net Zero Nation: consultation paper

Government is working on a Land Reform Bill to be brought forward during this Parliament. This is part of the consultation process.

You may have comments to make on the right use of land for tackling climate change and the nature crisis and ensuring a just transition but there’s also scope to comment here on improving access for cycling in Scotland.

Part 6 proposes that there should be a duty on large-scale landowners to publish Land Management Plans and part 8 proposes those who receive public funds should be required to produce them.

At Cycling UK we hear too many cases of landowners preventing access to their land for walking and cycling, despite people having right of responsible access under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

This new Land Reform Bill and consultation is a good opportunity to require large landowners, who are in receipt of public money, to be required to comply with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

In other words, if they don’t allow access to their land and don’t follow the code, the public money they receive can be stopped. At present there doesn’t seem to be enough penalty for land owners flouting this law.

Closes 25 September 2022

1.2: Scottish Sentencing Council – Death by Driving

The sentencing council is seeking views on their draft guideline on the statutory offences involving causing death by driving.

Cases of drivers killing other other people whilst behind the wheel and receiving a short sentence are all too familiar. Pleas for tougher sentencing for road crime seem to go nowhere. Now is the chance to tell the sentencing council what you think.

More on this consultation next time.

Closes 22 November 2022

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

Transport Scotland is developing a new Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel which is the follow up to the Cycling Action Plan. This will be very important for driving forward action on cycling so will be a highlight of a digest sometime in the autumn.

The Scottish Government is working on a new Climate Change Plan which should be published for consultation this autumn.

The Scottish Government is also working on an Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan which will cover transport such as electric and hydrogen vehicle and should also include e-bikes.

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

None this month