Road space reallocation in Scotland: A health impact assessment

Douglas, M. J., Teuton, J., Macdonald, A., Whyte, B. and Davis, A. L. (2023) Road space reallocation in Scotland: A health impact assessment. Journal of Transport and Health, 30, 101625. (doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2023.101625)

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Introduction: Road space reallocation involves re-distributing space away from motor vehicles, including car parking and carriageway space, towards other uses. This can promote a shift to more sustainable travel modes and is likely to affect health through multiple pathways. Methods: We conducted a health impact assessment to identify and assess the potential impacts of road space reallocation on health and health inequalities in Scotland. This involved a facilitated scoping workshop to identify potential impacts, collation of routine data, interviews with 13 key informants and a rapid review of research literature. Results: We found that road space reallocation could have positive impacts on health by reducing overall levels of private motorised traffic, encouraging walking, wheeling and cycling, realising benefits from alternative uses of space and supporting local businesses. There is potential for positive impact on public transport if space is reallocated to prioritise buses, but bus users can also be disadvantaged if bus routes are diverted or stops impeded. Reallocation can improve transport and health equity if it increases support for modes other than car use, but disabled people may be disadvantaged if the reallocated space, and alternative modes, are not accessible for them. Conclusions: Road space reallocation can improve health and help reduce health inequalities. However, consideration is needed to ensure sufficient alternatives to car use are supported and the reallocated space is accessible for people with different needs. Reallocation schemes should be considered as part of a wider inclusive approach to road transport supporting active travel and public or community transport. Road space reallocation should contribute to wider place-making initiatives aiming to improve quality of local environments and meet community needs.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whyte, Mr Bruce and Douglas, Dr Margaret
Creator Roles:
Douglas, M.Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft
Douglas, M. J.Conceptualization
Whyte, B.Resources, Visualization, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Douglas, M. J., Teuton, J., Macdonald, A., Whyte, B., and Davis, A. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Journal of Transport and Health
ISSN (Online):2214-1405
Published Online:12 May 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Transport and Health 30:101625
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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