I’m sure by now you will have heard that Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie has been appointed as the new Active Travel Minister in the Scottish Government – congratulations to Patrick. The new role was created after a deal was reached between the Scottish Greens and SNP on a form of power-sharing in Government. The agreement included a raft of measures which will benefit people who want to cycle including a commitment to boost funding for active travel to £320m by 2024/25, which is 10% of the transport budget.
Commitments from the deal have been included in the Programme for Government, published this week. Here are some highlights from the PfG:
- Spend at least £320 million or 10% of the total transport budget goes on active travel by 2024-25
- New Cycling Framework for Active Travel – to be published in 2022
- Establishing an active freeway network for Scotland
- Ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20 mph by 2025
- An online reporting system – a 1‑year pilot project enabling anyone to upload camera footage of dangerous driving.
- Maintaining the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme
- Produce a route map, by the end of 2021, for achieving the target to reduce the use of cars – measured as ‘car kilometres’ – by 20% by 2030
- Deliver on our vision for “20-minute neighbourhoods”
- Place Based Investment programme, backed with £325 million over the next five years.
There’s only a couple of smallish consultations from Transport Scotland this month. In the coming weeks and months, as the new parliamentary term really gets going, we expect there to be an increase in consultations , some of which will seek opinions on implementing the above policies.
Section 1: Current Consultations
(in date order for responses)
1.1: Transport Scotland – Consultation on Penalty Charge Notices for Parking Enforcement
Illegal and inconsiderate parking is at best an annoyance and at worst a safety risk for cyclists. The government is consulting on parking charges including differentiating between different offences. For example, it makes sense to charge someone more for parking on a double yellow than for overstaying their time in a parking space. As the consultation says ‘For enforcement to be effective, penalty charges for parking in breach of the prohibitions need to be set at an appropriate level.’
Closes 4 October 2021
1.2: Transport Scotland – Membership of the National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board Consultation
This may be a wee bit niche, however, if like me you agree that public bike share schemes should be part of smart ticketing in Scotland it’s worth a quick response – even if you answer only Question 1 which asks whether disability organisations and active travel organisations should be included on the Board.
Closes 12 October 2021
Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations
No specific consultations expected
Section 3: Consultation Feedback
3.1: Law Commission (& Scottish Law Commission) – Automated Vehicles: A regulatory framework for automated vehicles
This was featured in Consultation Digest (National) Issue 5 in March. Here is the response we received to the GoBike submission:
The team has spent the last few months reviewing the materials submitted in response to our third consultation which closed in March this year. We are pleased to announce the publication of the summary of responses to our paper. In it we outline the key arguments put to us and direction of travel as we work towards the final report at the end of this year.
We have also put all the responses we received on our website.
Today we are also publishing a draft impact assessment and questions about the impact of our proposed reforms alongside the summary and welcome views.
Between now and the final report we have no further consultations planned but the team will be very happy to hear from you should you wish to bring any developments or ideas to our attention.
The summary of responses and next steps, all consultation responses received and our draft impact assessment are available on our project pages at https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/automated-vehicles/ or https://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/law-reform/law-reform-projects/joint-projects/automated-vehicles/
Automated Vehicles Team – Law Commissions