Sustrans Places for Everyone funding criteria and equality impacts: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

You asked for a range of information in relation to Sustrans’ delivery of the Places for Everyone Programme.


To access funding from Sustrans’ Places for Everyone scheme, councils wanting to implement walkingand cycling schemes must also ensure those schemes restrict motor vehicle “permeability” in some way: “Reallocate road space, and restrict motor traffic permeability to prioritise people walking, wheeling, and cycling over private motor vehicles”.

Please can you provide the dates and copies of all Equality/Integrated Impact Assessments or equivalent documents that reference impacts of this policy on people who use vehicles as drivers and passengers, including disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, those with young children and businesses?

The Scottish Government do not hold copies of Equality Impact Assessments for active travel projects. These are undertaken by local authorities as part of the community engagement and development of each project to inform design. Local authorities hold copies of these.

Did the Scottish Government consider the risk of a compounding negative impact of this policy on groups such as disabled people? For example with councils deprioritising work to implement previously approved infrastructure with evidenced need (such as stand-alone accessible traffic islands which are not eligible for Places for Everyone funding because they do not restrict vehicles) as councils are so busy delivering schemes that can be funded through Places for Everyone, even if those schemes do not have community support or accident and travel data to evidence need?

The Scottish Government understands the risks of building active travel projects. Local authorities who are responsible for local roads understand their responsibility to undertake Equality Impact Assessments to help mitigate these risks and allow projects to be designed appropriately. Local authorities also received a pro rata share of the £35 million Cycling Walking Safer Routes fund directly to deliver small projects that supports safer walking, wheeling and cycling in their areas.

Was it Sustrans or Transport Scotland who suggested the condition of funding by Places for Everyone included the requirement to “Reallocate road space, and restrict motor traffic permeability to prioritise people walking, wheeling, and cycling over private motor vehicles” that means that pedestrians and cyclists cannot generally benefit from new schemes or crossings if people using vehicles as drivers or passengers are not simultaneously restricted in some way?

The text you are quoting comes from Sustrans guidance. Note that this is not a condition of funding and there are large numbers of projects within the Places for Everyone portfolio that do not require road space reallocation.

Please can you provide all internal and external correspondence relating to the suggestion and approval of this specific funding requirement including ministerial approval?

As above, this is Sustrans' guidance for delivery partners and is not a requirement of funding; no Scottish Government or Ministerial approval has been sought or given.

Why did the Scottish Government permit the scheme to be branded “Places for Everyone” when it requires that some people needing to use vehicles will inevitably face some restrictions and negative impacts, meaning that it is impossible for the schemes to benefit “Everyone”?

In discussions with Sustrans we agreed that the new fund would provide a single, unified, grant programme that rebalances Scotland’s streets in favour of walking, cycling, and liveability. Grants are offered to partners for the design and construction of people prioritised infrastructure, such as paving, cycle-ways, road-crossings, and greening. Professional support is provided to partners to ensure that the highest quality infrastructure is delivered, enabling more walking and cycling regardless of location or ability. Previously Community Links, Community Links PLUS, and Safer Routes to School, the fund now simplifies the offer for partners. As mentioned in an earlier answer, Equality Impact Assessments should be undertaken by local authorities (or other statutory authority) delivering a project to ensure needs of all people, including disabled people with cars are taken into account.

Please can you provide all internal and external correspondence relating to the suggestion and approval of the brand name “Places for Everyone”, including at ministerial level?

Sustrans is provided with a grant to deliver a range of services and therefore can determine names of these schemes. I have attached an e mail where the "Places for Everyone" name was initially mentioned; this was not challenged or questioned by TS.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202300378740 - Information Released - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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