Supporting policy, guidance and evidence

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Below is a list, with links from titles, to the key policies, guidance and evidence that directly support increased levels of everyday walking and cycling. The intention is to point to principal documents only. There are others that have relevance for active travel, including regional and local policies and guidance, and intervention reviews and evaluations.

Strategy / Policy

National Walking Strategy
The Scottish Government's strategy to deliver the vision of a Scotland where everyone benefits from walking as part of their everyday journeys, enjoys walking in the outdoors and where places are well designed to encourage walking.

Ten Year Physical Activity Implementation Plan
The Scottish Government's first ever National Physical Activity Implementation plan seeks to adapt the key elements of the Toronto Charter to the Scottish setting and link it directly to the Government’s active legacy ambitions for the Commonwealth Games. The plan includes a 10 year outcome that active travel will be the norm for all short journeys to and from work.

Government Economic Strategy
The Scottish Government has committed to almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050.

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009
Introduces ambitious, world-leading legislation to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050,and will drive new thinking, new solutions and new technologies putting Scotland at the forefront of building a sustainable low carbon economy.

Low Carbon Scotland: A Behaviours Framework
One of the ten key behaviour areas where individuals and households can really make a difference includes -Becoming less reliant on the car (walking, cycling, using public transport and/or car-sharing instead of driving).

Choosing Our Future: Scotland's sustainable development strategy
Sets out the importance of walking and cycling in creating a sustainable society and calls for good quality open spaces and streetscapes to encourage more sustainable forms of travel.

National Transport Strategy
Sets out the future of Scotland's transport infrastructure and services. The provision of walking and cycling is included as a high level objective contributing to improved health and the protection of the environment.

Let’s Make Scotland More Active: a strategy for physical activity in Scotland
Includes an aim to provide high quality physical environments to help inactive people to become active. Active Travel is seen as a key delivery mechanism.

Mental Health Strategy for Scotland: 2012-2015
Acknowledges the mental health benefits of physical activity and encourages initiatives that increase levels of physical activity. [Everyday walking and cycling are the easiest ways of increasing habitual levels of physical activity].

National Planning Framework 3
Includes proposals for a national walking and cycling network and the advancement of active travel within the Central Scotland Green Network.

Scottish Planning Policy
Supports a shift to more sustainable modes of transport including walking, cycling and public transport.

Land Reform Scotland Act – Core Path Planning
Local Authorities are required to draw up a plan for a system of local paths that give the public reasonable access throughout the area, increasing opportunities to walk and cycle for health.

Designing Places: policy statement on designing places in Scotland
Emphasises the importance of design for the easier movement of people on foot and by bike.

Designing Streets: a policy statement on street design in Scotland
Advises the application of the street user hierarchy in the design of streets. This considers the needs of pedestrians first and private motor vehicles last.

Creating Places: a policy statement on architecture and place for Scotland
Advocates the creation of attractive, accessible places that put pedestrians first and makes it safe and attractive for younger and older people to go outdoors.

All Our Futures: Planning for a Scotland with an Ageing Population
Aims to ensure houses, buildings, communities, transport systems and infrastructure are well-designed and accessible, and can be used by older people in safety and with confidence.

Guidance / Action Plans

Scotland on the move: Active travel for liveable, healthy and prosperous local communities
A walking and cycling manifesto for the 2017 local government elections in Scotland

Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland: A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight
The Route Map sets out the range of actions needed to achieve the aim of the majority of Scotland’s population to be in a normal weight range. This includes a Scottish Government commitment to create environments that make walking and cycling part of everyday life for everyone.

Cycling Action Plan for Scotland 2013
Sets out the actions needed to achieve the vision of 10% of all trips by bike by 2020.

Go Safe on Scotland’s Roads, it’s Everyone’s Responsibility: Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020
Sets out a raft of Scottish Government commitments to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Delivering a Healthy Future: An Action Framework for Children and Young People's Health in Scotland
Highlights the importance of increased physical activity for improving children's health; and the role of active travel to school in helping to achieve this.

Equally Well: report of the ministerial task force on health inequalities
Makes a number of recommendations for our environments and transport systems to be conducive to health through increasing physical activity.

Good Places Better Health for Scotland’s Children
Advocates the need for safe and attractive streets, paths and off road routes which allow children to cycle or walk to school, nursery or other amenities and allow them to play outdoors.

Cycling by Design
Guidance for local authorities and others developing cycling infrastructure in Scotland to ensure consistent and appropriate design.

NICE Guideline PH41 Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation
Sets out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreation purposes.

NICE Guideline PH08 Physical activity and the environment
Guidance on the promotion and creation of built environments that support increased levels of physical activity.

NICE Guideline PH17 Promoting physical activity for children and young people
Guidance on physical activity, play and sport for pre-school and school-age children in family, pre-school, school and community settings.

NICE Guideline PH13 Promoting physical activity in the workplace
Guidance on how to encourage employees to be physically active.

National Review of Town Centres External Advisory Group Report: Community and Enterprise in Scotland’s Town Centres
Advocates a “town centre first” principle whereby public bodies will consider how they can support provision in town centres before considering development elsewhere; thus making our town centres conducive to active travel.

Town Centre Action Plan
Scottish Government response to the National Review of Town Centres and includes the action:We will work with local authorities and other relevant partners to develop and maintain walking and cycling routes, public realm improvements and cycle parking facilities in town centre areas where high levels of cycling can be achieved.

I'DGO TOO (Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors)
Longitudinal research and guidance on how to create pedestrian friendly streets and neighbourhoods for older people.

Evidence / Evaluation / Advocacy

Five Year Review of Let’s Make Scotland More Active: a strategy for physical activity
Recognition that the creation and adaption of built environments that encourage and support active travel offers the greatest potential to get the nation active.

Going Smarter Final Report
Monitoring and evaluation of the 7 pilot areas involved in the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme; plus an overview drawn from all areas and recommendations for future activity. Headline finding – infrastructure and promotional interventions can change travel behaviour.

Costing the Burden of Ill Health Related to Physical Inactivity for Scotland
A report showing estimated primary and secondary care costs for five disease areas associated with physical inactivity. Results at national level were calculated as £94.1m (£91.8-96.4m), or approximately £18 per Scottish resident per year. Costs relating to prescription costs, consultations in General Practice and premature mortality associated with physical inactivity were included in calculations.

Value for Money: Economic Assessment of Investment in Walking & Cycling
This evidence review identified highly significant economic benefits of walking and cycling interventions. The median result for all data identified a benefit to cost ratio of 13:1 and for UK data alone the median figure is higher, at 19:1.

Walk Glasgow Social Return on Investment Study
Paths for All commissioned this Social Return on Investment (SROI) study to analyse the impact of the Glasgow Health Walk programme between April 2011 and March 2012. The headline finding is powerful, revealing that for every £1 invested in Health Walks in Glasgow, there were £8 of benefits generated for society.

Greenlink Social Return on Investment Study
Analysis of the social benefits of a 7 km cycle path creating a direct route from Strathclyde Country Park to Motherwell Town Centre calculated a social return of £7.63 for every £1 invested.

Making the Case for Investment in the Walking Environment
This report, by the University of the West of England on behalf of Living Streets, brings together robust, referenced evidence on the importance of walking and the economic, environmental, health, social and road safety benefits of investing in an improved walking environment.

Cycling is Good for Health and the Economy
Using an online tool created by the World Health Organization that calculates the health economic benefits from cycling, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health research team found that the annual health economic benefit accruing from cycle trips into and out of Glasgow city centre in 2012 was over £4 million.

Walking & Public Space - Public Opinion Survey 2009
Paths for All in partnership with Living Streets Scotland have commissioned Scotland's first ever national opinion survey into public attitudes to walking and public space. The survey identified what would encourage people to walk more.

A one-stop source of information on walking in Scotland provided by Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland.  This literature review provides comprehensive and easily accessible information about walking.

Active Travel, Active Scotland
A report by Paths for All, Sustrans Scotland, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland and Transform Scotland. It makes the case for a significant change in the priority given to both walking and cycling in Scotland – and sets out what needs to be done to enable a dramatic, but cost-effective shift to be achieved.

Take Action on Active Travel
A call to action by central, devolved and local government from UK public health and sustainable transport organisations to promote health through increasing active travel.

Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary
These bulletins present analysis of information collected through the Travel Diary element of the Scottish Household Survey including mode of travel, distance travelled, etc.

Scottish Health Survey
Results cover general health and mental wellbeing, dental health, alcohol, smoking, diet, physical activity, obesity, long-term conditions and gambling.

National Atmospheric Emissions Inventories
The NAEI compiles estimates of emissions to the atmosphere from UK sources such as power stations, traffic, household heating, agriculture and industrial processes.

Scotland’s Census
Provides information on population, car and van availability, ethnicity, identity, language, religion, health, housing and accommodation.

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