An Active Travel Strategy for the Outer Hebrides

We Asked

For your views to help develop a set of ideas to improve conditions for walking and cycling – collectively known as active travel – for both residents and visitors in the Outer Hebrides.

You Said

Over 100 comments were input into the online map. Approximately half of these resulted from discussion at events and were entered by the study team, and half of these were submitted independently by stakeholders. Comments are available in  Appendix 1 below.

We Did

Of the Key Themes: We Did

The information that has been collated from this study has been pulled together and used to help develop a draft Active Travel Strategy and Policy that will be further developed and submitted to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee for approval

Of the Key Themes: We Did Not Do

Not Applicable


Equalities Monitoring

Please complete our Equalities Monitoring Form:

Equalities Monitoring Form

This is used by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to provide essential statistical information about who participates in our consultations.

The data is managed confidentially, is not personally attributable, and is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act.


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) is working together with the regional transport partnership, HITRANS and will be assisted by Ove Arup & Partners in the preparation of the project. It will be delivered with support from the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme.

Your views are requested to help develop a set of ideas to improve conditions for walking and cycling – collectively known as active travel – for both residents and visitors in the Outer Hebrides.

Why We Are Consulting

The project covers public roads and footways in the inhabited islands between Barra and Lewis. Land controlled by other individuals and organisations will be considered, particularly where agreement to provide long-term solutions for walking and cycling would help address a significant gap in current routes.


The Scottish Government is increasing the amount of funding for active travel projects, and at the same time local communities are asking CnES for better, safer streets. The Active Travel Strategy will consider a wide variety of projects, and this will allow funders to see where the priorities might be for the next five to ten years. Other areas of Scotland already have seen the rewards of having such strategies in place through successful funding awards.

Possible improvements range from adding new or wider places to walk and cycle along existing streets, to entirely new off-road paths in the countryside, to better information, marketing and advertising. Actions will help address the following themes:

  • Comfort – changing to layout of streets to provide space that is wide enough to walk and cycle comfortably on, and is attractive and welcoming
  • Accessibility – improving the design of streets so they are inclusive to young, old and people with disabilities, and different types of bike
  • Safety – influencing all street users including motorists and large vehicles to help ensure safety and increasing awareness of walking and cycling
  • Information – publicising routes and facilities to help people have the motivation to make everyday journeys that include walking and cycling

Projects can help improve where you live in your community, and places residents and tourists go such as centres of employment, shopping and leisure, including beaches, museums and the countryside. If you are an owner or operator of a business, projects may help you to promote walking and cycling to visitors and staff.

Day to day maintenance of streets will still be dealt with outside of this strategy, though actions within this strategy may help inform priorities.

What Happens Next

The project provides three opportunities for anyone to meet the project team in different communities across the Outer Hebrides. These events will be held at:

  • Castlebay, Barra – Wednesday 16th May (evening)/Thursday 17th May (AM)
  • Linaclate, Benbecula – Thursday 17th May (evening)
  • Stornoway, Lewis – Saturday 19th May (all day)

Exact times and locations will be advised (email contact: If you cannot attend these events, an online map will be available from 16th May until 17th June at where you will be guided through how you can make your comments. You can also write to CnES at

Various organisations and stakeholders in the CnES area will be contacted for their input and a meeting will be taking place with stakeholders, for example public transport operators, tourism providers and in CnES itself. This will help ensure there are a wide range of inputs into the strategy. The project team have also visited different parts of the islands.


An Active Travel Strategy for the Outer Hebrides will be informed by your participation and will be prepared for the end of June 2018. It is intended that this will go to a Council committee later in 2018. This will determine whether the content of the strategy will be formally adopted and used to guide further walking and cycling investment in the coming years.