October newsletter – Campaigns updatePublished 22 October 2021 by Rachel McFarlane
Transform Scotland’s Communications Officer, Rachel McFarlane, reports on a selection of our recent campaign activities.
Putting Down Routes: Building Scotland’s Active Freeway Network
The report builds upon the inclusion of Active Freeways within the Scottish Government and Scottish Greens’ shared programme for government and provides a blueprint for developing a strategic network of Active Freeways across Scotland. Crucially, it seeks to answer the question:
- What are Active Freeways?
- What would a successful Active Freeways network in Scotland look like?
In answering these, the report draws upon UK and European experience (specifically from Belgium and Germany) to identify how the network could be successfully designed and implemented, and offers a number of recommendations to the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland for the implementation of these networks.
Why we need an Active Freeways network:
The majority (54%) of journeys in Scotland are under 3 miles, and half of these journeys are made by car or van, with only 2% carried out by bike. By providing an attractive and easy-to-use network of paths that connect towns and cities across Scotland, Active Freeways would encourage more people to leave their car at home and opt for more sustainable and healthy modes of travel: walking, wheeling, and/or cycling.
We were delighted to gain support for our report from John Lauder, Deputy CEO of Sustrans, and Executive Director, Scotland, and the Scottish Minister for Active Travel, Patrick Harvie MSP.
Patrick Harvie noted that:
“This report from Transform Scotland is very welcome, and we’ll be looking carefully at its recommendations as we work on the Strategic Transport Projects Review and our ongoing review of transport governance.”
As well as others on Twitter such as Dundee Cycling Forum and Ramblers:
#lovemybus heads to COP26
We are delighted to announce that #lovemybus will be exhibiting at First Bus headquarters hosted by First Glasgow throughout #COP26! This is a very exciting opportunity to spread the word about #lovemybus and the important role that bus must play if we are to reach out climate change targets.
On September 30, we released our Annual Report for 2020/21, which provided an overview of our campaigning activities and highlights from the past year.
We started 2020 with three areas of focus:
- Scottish Parliament elections
- Climate change
- Capital expenditure
Our report maps out our progress in each of these areas. You can view it here on our website.
Our response to ScotRail’s ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation
Earlier this month, we responded to ScotRail’s ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation. As part of our response, we set out five key recommendations for the Scottish Government:
- Pause rail service cuts for 12 months.
- Commission a thorough, independent review of rail industry costs — within the next six months.
- Instruct Transport Scotland & ScotRail to urgently put in place a rail patronage recovery campaign.
- Provide the policy framework & infrastructure investment that will allow the future ScotRail to succeed.
- Instruct ScotRail to make information on rail service provision available on an ongoing basis, and consult regularly regarding the need for revisions.
Our rail spokesperson at Transform, Paul Tetlaw, noted that whilst rail patronage recovery campaigns led by companies such as Avanti West Coast and LNER have been ‘instrumental in helping to restore passenger numbers’, ScotRail had yet to do likewise. That instead of proposing service cuts, the response argues that the Scottish Government and ScotRail should instead focus on their messaging to encourage people back onto trains, and away from private transport.