Aware of a conflict between the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 that sees certain rights of responsible access being denied, the National Access Forum has published Guidance on Roads and Access Legislation in Scotland for Roads, Planning, Access professionals, and others, in an attempt to improve understanding and minimise any unintended consequences that may arise.
The complex and poorly understood relationship between these two areas of legislation results in differences in interpretation across Scotland. There is potential for vulnerable road users to be forced into positions of greater risk and conflict with other road users. The problems for those wishing to exercise responsible access are also compounded by the updated Highway Code (2022) which uses the Roads (Scotland) legislation without referencing the Land Reform (Scotland) legislation.
The National Access Forum feels that legislative change would help clarify the relationship between the two Acts, provide greater safety for vulnerable groups and help protect the right of responsible access.