1. What we did
Over the past few months, we carried out a membership survey to find out what our members think about Transform Scotland. We supplemented the survey with telephone calls to some of our members we hadn’t spoken to much over the year, and/or who hadn’t completed the online survey.
Overall, we received responses from 38 our of our 57 members, a response rate of 67%.
2. What we found out
Our members told us that the major challenges facing sustainable transport in Scotland today were car dominance (27% of respondents), lack of public transport (20%) and ineffective government policy (18%). Members said we needed to challenge Scotland’s car-centric culture and stop building new roads. Linked to this was the need to expand, promote, integrate and increase access to public transport. Many (18%) of our members also felt that lack of access and inclusion was a major issue, for example for rural communities, those on lower incomes and disabled people. Members highlighted the lack of political leadership on sustainable transport, and failure to convert green policies and rhetoric into meaningful on-the-ground action and budgets.
Our members said that the major policy issues for Transform Scotland to campaign on were: improving public transport (26% of respondents) e.g. by expanding services or making it more affordable; transforming the public realm (23%) e.g. by creating more pedestrian and cycling friendly places; and, more generally, influencing government policy and leadership on transport (23%). Also mentioned frequently were tackling climate change, improving integration between different modes of transport, prioritising investment for sustainable transport, and increasing access/inclusion.
When we asked members to identify where Transform Scotland had had an impact, the main areas mentioned were rail, active travel, climate change, buses and the Edinburgh trams.
Member services, benefits and working together
The most frequently mentioned benefit of Transform Scotland membership was access to information and expertise (over half of respondents mentioned this). Other important reasons for supporting Transform Scotland were our influence, having Transform as an ally for member interests and campaigns, to join the collective voice for sustainable transport in Scotland, and to be part of our network (over a quarter of respondents mentioned each of these reasons).
Some people suggested ways we could improve our member services and benefits. Most notably, by ensuring we represent transport interests all over Scotland, and by offering more opportunities for joint working and collaboration. Many of our members said they would be keen to offer in-kind support to Transform Scotland. For example by providing a meeting space, contributing to our policy work or writing a blog.
3. What we will do next
We want to make sure that we use the findings from our member survey to influence our work. For example we will:
- use the feedback from members to inform our strategic plan and annual work plan, including our campaign priorities for the year
- continue our activities to share information and expertise with members, and regularly review what we are doing to ensure we remain relevant and useful (our May 2021 hydrogen learning event is an example of this)
- look at ways to ensure we represent and influence all parts of Scotland. For example we have already replaced our monthly Members’ Sessions in Edinburgh with online events, and are looking to trial in-person events for members around the country
- review offers of in-kind support from members, explore ways to work together and ensure we make the most of the extensive expertise we are so privileged to have in our membership.