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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-27042

  • Asked by: Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 25 April 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 8 May 2024


To ask the Scottish Government what evidence was used to support the statement in the appraisal summary for recommendation 6 of the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) that there has been “effective delivery of behavioural change initiatives in Scotland”, in light of the 2022 Active Travel National Indicator showing that journeys by active travel under two miles have fallen since 2012.


STPR2 Recommendation 6 considered a significant body of evidence from projects across Scotland and the UK. This demonstrated that with the provision of specific and targeted information there is potential to change people’s travel behaviour. This includes encouraging more people to walk, wheel and cycle for shorter journeys and to use public transport for trips that they previously used a private car for. The impact of these types of programmes can be more effective when supporting new related infrastructure projects.

The transport appraisal that supported Recommendation 6 considered the evaluation of projects in Scotland undertaken as part of the Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme. This noted that, of the schemes that promoted walking and cycling, around 40% of those people that were reached were more active as a result.

As part of Scotland’s National Performance Framework there is a ‘journeys by active travel’ National Indicator, which monitors the proportion of short journeys that are made only by the active modes of walking and cycling. This shows that whilst there has indeed been a small decline in the percentage of journeys under 2 miles by walking as the main mode, positively the percentage of journeys under 5 miles by cycling as the main mode, has increased since 2012. Transport Scotland will continue to monitor the impacts of all the STPR2 Recommendations, as part of its normal cycle of monitoring and review of the impacts of its investment in Scotland’s transport network.