Here, our communications officer Rachel McFarlane reflects on the Transform team’s activities in September.
Transform’s trip to the Riverside Museum
We were delighted to commence September at the Riverside Museum for our first in-person event since 2019! After almost three years of online events and meetings, it was great to see both familiar as well as new faces, and get a chance to catch up in Glasgow all while learning more about the city’s transport past, present and future.
You can find out more about the day here.
Our next in-person event – our 25th Anniversary party – is taking place on Wednesday 9 November in Edinburgh so be sure to sign up here.
Stuck in Traffic report publication
We published our ‘Stuck In Traffic‘ report on Monday 5 September, which revealed whether the sustainable transport commitments set out in the last three Programme for Government announcements are being met. This period was chosen as it follows the First Minister’s Climate Emergency declaration in May 2019.
Our report found that Scotland is due to miss its target for bus electrification, and while some of its other commitments are on track, progress on others has been slow and in a few cases there has been no progress at all.
Our policy officer and report author Marie Ferdelman stated:
“The climate emergency and the cost of living crisis require urgent action and more delay and prevarication on delivering sustainable transport commitments is not an option.
“What Scotland truly needs is not another programme of promises but a programme of action.”
After the announcement of this year’s PfG, our director Colin Howden noted:
“We’re very pleased that the government has frozen fares on ScotRail, which otherwise might have risen by 12%. But what’s missing is similar action on bus fares. A few days ago, the UK Government announced new grant funding to allow a temporary £2 cap on bus fares in England. We need to see something similar in Scotland, not least because bus users are typically on lower incomes than rail passengers.”
We were pleased to receive significant media attention around our report launch, including coverage in the BBC, the Scotsman, the Times, and the Scottish Daily Express.
LNER Forum 2022: Positive takeaways from rail
Our Head of Enterprise Elspeth Wray spoke on the panel at LNER’s Scotland Stakeholder Forum that took place in Edinburgh earlier this month. She spoke about the important role played by rail in meeting Scotland’s 20% car km reduction target.
Elspeth noted after the event: “I was very pleased to hear more about what LNER is doing to encourage people to choose rail over flying or driving. It was motivating to hear lots of positive news about the railways.
“Let’s hope the Scottish Government will match its 20% traffic reduction commitment with financial investment in a fast, modern, inter-city rail network that will help the efforts of LNER, ScotRail and other train operators to win more and more passengers.”
‘Catch the Bus Month’ with #lovemybus
The #lovemybus team have had a very busy September so far! They have been visiting lots of different university and colleague campuses across Scotland to spread the word about #CatchTheBusMonth and all the benefits of bus for our economy, health and wellbeing, society and environment. They have also been promoting and helping new and returning students with how to get the most out of their U22s bus pass.
If you follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook you might have seen our #TransformOnHoliday posts that have been released throughout the summer. If you missed them, here’s a quick recap:
The series started off with pictures from our policy officer Marie, who was enjoying the perks of her 9-Euro public transport ticket on the Route 62 ferry heading from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder in Hamburg.
I then shared a slightly less sunny picture (!) from the MV Isle of Lewis ferry, returning home from my holiday on the Isle of Barra where I had enjoyed seeing lots of cyclists commencing their Hebridean Way adventure!
Our Communications Assistant Sadikchya shared a picture from her favourite bus route in Edinburgh, the number 11 to Hyvots Bank, where she was headed to Usher Hall for a concert.
Our Ros, our Business Coordinator, then shared some photos from her trip down to the central belt on the Highland Main Line, where she was enjoying the beautiful scenery and spotting wildlife whilst sipping a cup of tea.
director Colin shared photos of a colourful-looking train from his trip to Wismar in the North-East of Germany which depicts a number of the local tourist attractions (presumably he got on board however no selfie was shared as proof!).
Laura from our comms team then shared a photo of her journey on the TransPennine Express that she took earlier in the summer when she was down celebrating her graduation. She also took a bonus photo of her destination which included a delicious-looking ice cream.
It was great to see the various activities our team got up to over the summer, and the different destinations that can be reached sustainably and comfortably using public transport!