As I write this post, COP27 in Egypt is well into its second week. Last weekend members of GoBike joined with friends from Pedal on Parliament and other organisations to wave banners emblazoned with the ‘This Machine Fights Climate Change’ slogan during a march through the streets of Edinburgh. We were there with thousands of others to take part in the Day of Global Action for Climate Justice.
As the case for supporting cycling and sustainable travel is made at #COP27, here in Scotland we continue to do the same nationally and locally. Sadly, despite positive commitments and policies in the past couple of years, financial pressures are once again creating uncertainty for budgets and priorities. Climate targets can’t be met without boosting active travel and that means we need more spending on projects and infrastructure which helps people to cycle, walk and wheel.
Police Scotland are also experiencing financial pressures and have put all projects on hold. This includes the National Dashcam Safety Portal – an online system for the public to upload camera footage and simply report incidents of bad driving.
The ongoing development of the new portal is under threat, so Cycling UK has a new e-action where you can write to the Chief Constable to say ‘Don’t scrap Scotland’s Dashcam Safety Portal’.
Read more in the blog post I wrote for Cycling UK.
*TAKE ACTION NOW* take the e-action – write to the Chief Constable and personalise your email by adding why road safety and the portal is important to you.
Section 1: Current Consultations
(in date order for responses)
1.1: Scottish Sentencing Council – Death by Driving
Only a few days remaining.
The sentencing council is seeking views on their draft guideline on the statutory offences involving causing death by driving. The guidance is for the courts to use when setting sentences in cases where death has been caused by careless or dangerous driving.
The consultation asks questions on:
- the overall style and structure of the guideline and its interaction with other guidelines
- the content of the guidance contained within the guideline
- the potential impacts of the guideline
The proposed guidance itself is well set out and clear – it makes sense to have the offences ordered by seriousness with the most serious appearing first.
However, what many people want to see are tougher sentences and courts using their sentencing powers to give out tough penalties. It’s interesting that the consultation document explains that currently the public generally expects tougher sentences than the courts deliver. This has to work for the public and victim’s families as well as being fair to offenders.
This consultation is not the ideal format to call for tough sentences for causing death by driving or other driving offences but there’s no harm in stating clearly what you want to see in order to make the roads safer.
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.
Closes 22 November 2022
1.2: Transport Scotland – Cycling Framework for Active Travel
Transport Scotland is consulting on an important new strategy for cycling – specifically cycling for active travel. The draft Cycling Framework for Active Travel outlines the Scottish Government’s priorities for cycling up to 2030, and specifically aims to boost transport cycling (everyday cycling) for short local journeys.
This new strategy is the follow-up to the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland 2017-2020 and to be honest its a whole lot better. So if you agree and think that, on the whole, its a positive strategy please use this opportunity to praise Transport Scotland for going a good job.
Sadly, as cycle campaigners we are all too familiar with having to review draft documents which don’t promise to deliver what is needed for cycling. This new Cycling Framework is better but we can still provide input to improve it.
Cycling UK has produced a guide to responding to the consultation which includes suggestions for answers to supplement your own ideas.
Closes 19 December 2022
Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations
None this month.
Section 3: Consultation Feedback
The Scottish Government has now published the independent analysis report of the responses to the Draft National Planning Framework 4 consultation. Further information, and the Revised Draft NPF4, is available at TransformingPlanning.scot.