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New report: ‘Transport recovery: Rebuilding public transport patronage’

Published 25 June 2020 by Transform Scotland

New Transform report sets out transport investment priorities post-lockdown

Transform Scotland [1] has today (Thursday 25 June) published its new report, ‘Transport Recovery’, which sets out transport investment priorities to rebuild public transport patronage post-lockdown. [2]

This is the fourth and final of a series of reports that Transform has published in recent weeks which have focussed on: the social justice implications of the lockdown; the boosts to use of active travel; and the benefits from enhanced digital connectivity. [3]

The report calls for the Scottish Government to:

* Deliver on bus priority promises
* Invest in Scotland’s electric bus fleet
* Plan now for light rail
* Electrify Scotland’s inter-city rail network.

In a foreword to the report Christine McGlasson, Managing Director of Xplore Dundee, said:

“We have had a glimpse into a future when the roads are not jammed with cars, when congestion is a thing of the past and the air in our towns and cities is cleaner and healthier. 

“Before the threat of a massive post-pandemic increase in private car usage becomes reality, now is the time for operators and authorities to think in a joined-up way about how public transport, alongside active travel modes, can continue to reduce emissions in our cities, and for the public to return to bus and rail so that we can lock in the benefits of reduced congestion and cleaner air.”

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:

“As painful and disruptive as it has been, the corona crisis will pass and we will still have the climate crisis to deal with. Only last week, Ministers had to admit that they had again missed their climate targets. Transport is the prime culprit, being the largest source of emissions and the one where there has been no reductions in 30 years. Investment in public transport will be desperately needed to deliver deep cuts in climate emissions. 

“Despite the threats of a post-lockdown spike in car use, we’ve seen no decisive action from Transport Scotland to head this off. Earlier this year, we were told that the bus priority on the Glasgow motorway network would be progressed swiftly, but we’ve seen no absolutely progress here. The reduced levels of traffic during the lockdown gave an opportunity for action but this has been wasted by Transport Scotland.

“In contrast to the Local Authorities who have scrambled to implement ‘Spaces for People’ schemes in a matter of weeks, there has been no progress in delivering either the ‘Managed Motorways’ commitment made by Scottish Ministers in their Climate Emergency Programme for Government in September last year, nor on investing the £500m ‘Bus Partnership Fund’ for local bus priority. This is fundamentally not due to a lack of cash: Transport Scotland’s budget has risen year after year, and it remains able to press on with a multi-billion pound road-building programme.”

The report is available at <>.



[1] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors. See <> for details.

[2] Transform Scotland ‘Transport Recovery’ report

The report is available on the Transform Scotland website at <>.

[3] Transform Scotland ‘Corona Recovery’ report series

* ‘Just Recovery: Reversing the Lockdown Inequalities’: <>.

* ‘Active Recovery: Locking-in the Active Travel Benefits’: <>.

* ‘Connected Recovery: Enabling the Digital Commute’: <>.


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