Impact of EVs on the M74 or equivalent Scottish motorways: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

Has Transport Scotland or any other equivalent agency modelled the impact of EVs on the M74 or on any equivalent Scottish motorways. Obviously by 2030 the sale of non-EVs will be banned and it would be useful to know what the cumulative impact of this policy will be in terms of noise and other pollution.


We are only able to respond with the information held by Transport Scotland.

Some of the information requested is attached, concerning:

  • the cumulative impact of this policy in terms of noise and air quality.

See Annex A.

However, under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested for:

  • Has Transport Scotland or any other equivalent agency modelled the impact of EVs on the M74 or on any equivalent Scottish motorways.

This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. While we recognise that there may be public interest in information about the impact of EVs on the M74 or other Scottish Motorways, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Annex A
The Scotland’s Noise website provides details of our approach to managing traffic noise.

The Transportation Noise Action Plan (TNAP) 2019 - 2023 provides details of the actions to manage noise on major roads such as the M74.

The Cleaner Air Scotland 2 – Towards Better Place Everyone document identified the need for integrated policy. Some key lines from this are as follows.

  • Page 8, Item 2: Strategies, policies and plans being developed and implemented by central government for placemaking, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and related polices such as noise reduction, should be closely coordinated and aligned with those for air quality in order to maximise co-benefits. Local government, which is largely responsible for implementing the Local Air Quality Management system, besides its planning, transport delivery, public health and regulatory roles, also has a key role to play.
  • Page 23, Item 27: Other issues that correlate closely with air pollution in terms of impacts on people and the environment also need to be taken into account, including noise (especially transport-generated noise) and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Increased awareness of these interrelationships is needed, as is the potential to link co-beneficial mitigating actions.
  • Page 31, Item 57: As with urban air pollution, the major source of ambient noise is road traffic. The adverse impacts of air pollution are closely correlated with those of noise, making it difficult to separately assess the impact of traffic noise on health. However, this does mean that many interventions aimed at reducing traffic-sourced air pollution are also likely to help reduce excess traffic-sourced noise. These interventions range from traffic reduction in urban areas to physical solutions such as green barriers along roads.

A relevant academic paper that may be of interest is: The effect of electric vehicles on urban
noise maps - ScienceDirect

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The Scottish Government
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