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Recent updates from Transform

Published 15 June 2022 by Rachel McFarlane

Transform’s communications officer, Rachel McFarlane, reports on a few of our recent activities. 

Scottish Bus Week success!

The first-ever Scottish Bus Week, which took place during the last week of May, centred around the celebration of bus and the role that buses can play as a solution to the country’s transport challenges.

The Bus Week was an initiative from our #lovemybus campaign, supported by Paths for All and partners including First Bus, Lothian, Stagecoach, Borders Buses and West Coast Motors. It was delivered in partnership with CPT Scotland.

The #lovemybus team were in different towns and cities across Scotland, speaking with people about their experiences of using buses and the important role they play in keeping communities and people connected. 

The team was also delighted to gain support from Members of the Scottish Parliament, who came out in force to help strengthen the message: that buses are a key actor in creating a fairer, safer, stronger and greener Scotland. 

What can Scotland learn from other countries’ response to the Ukraine crisis?

Earlier this month, Transform’s policy officer Marie Ferdelman reported from Germany on the new 9-Euro-Ticket the German government introduced at the start of June. 

What is the 9-Euro-Ticket?

As part of a package to ease the impact of rising energy costs, the German government introduced a ‘9-Euro-Ticket’ for public transport over the summer months. This means that from June until the end of August, Germans (or anyone living in or visiting Germany) can take an unlimited number of journeys on all local and regional buses and trains throughout Germany for only €9 per month. 

In her report, Marie considers this scheme and deliberates both its positives and negatives. Whether this scheme will secure long-term modal shift remains to be seen. However, by 31 May, approximately seven million people who did not previously hold a monthly or yearly season ticket had bought a 9-Euro-Ticket! 

We will certainly be keeping a close eye on the outcomes of this scheme in the months to come.

Marie’s full commentary is available on our website.

Cross-Party Group concludes its scrutiny of Government’s traffic reduction target

We held our fourth meeting of the CPG on Sustainable Transport meeting on Tuesday 24 May, its last meeting prior to the Parliament’s summer recess. 

At the event:

  • Clare Linton, the policy and research advisor at the Urban Transport Group, presented on the decarbonisation of freight and logistics. 
  • Professor Iain Docherty from the University of Stirling then commented on the 20% reduction in car kms commitment set out by the Scottish Government.

Clare illustrated the significant role that the freight and logistic sectors play in the UK economy — contributing £86.5bn and employing 2.5m people. She discussed the challenges that freight brings, and how we might go about resolving these issues, such as by prioritising rail and water to transport goods whenever possible.

Prof Iain Docherty concluded the discussion by indicating the essential role demand management must play, stating: “We will not reach the 20% reduction target unless we get pricing right for a change.” He noted that the assumed relationship between an individual’s quality of life and driving must be challenged. Presently, people believe an absolute reduction in road traffic means a reduction in economic input, which is not the case.

A note of the meeting, along with the video recording, is available on our website.

Thank you to all of the speakers and attendees who have contributed to the discussions on traffic reduction and demand management over the past five months. Your input is greatly appreciated!

We will be preparing a report over the summer reviewing all that has been considered – so be sure to keep an eye out for its publication once the Parliament returns from its summer break.