We want Scotland to accelerate to zero-carbon public transport.
We’re showing how Scotland can accelerate to a fossil-free, zero-carbon public transport future.
Much attention has been given in recent years to cutting emissions from private cars, but we’re now turning the focus to what must be done to decarbonise Scotland’s fleets of buses, trains and ferries.
In recent years, the Scottish Government has made some ambitious commitments to public transport decarbonisation:
- “remove the majority of diesel buses from public transport by the end of 2023”
- “reduce emissions from Scotland’s railways to zero by 2035”
- “ensure that 30% of state owned ferries are low emission by 2032”
We now need to take stock of progress, and determine what action is urgently required to accelerate Scotland to zero-carbon public transport system, ensuring that it plays its full role in meeting our climate targets.
By bringing together stakeholders from across Scotland, we will assemble a united front setting out the actions required to deliver a fossil-free public transport future.
Why zero-carbon public transport?
Public transport is vital. It provides people across the country with access to their workplaces, to shops and leisure activities and tourist destinations. Its congestion-busting ability is critical to Scotland’s economy. And it is crucial for cleaner air and cutting emissions.
A decarbonised network of buses, trains and ferries must form the backbone of Scotland’s transport system. Buses should have priority over cars across the road network. Tram and metro systems should be reinstated in our major cities. Railways should be the fastest and easiest way to travel longer distances, especially on inter-city routes north of the Central Belt. And we must see progress in clearing the backlog in ferry and port infrastructure, which provide a vital lifeline for rural and island communities.
Cross-Party Group on Sustainable Transport
We’re raising awareness and stimulating debate about the opportunities and challenges of transitioning to zero-carbon railways, bus fleets and ferries as part of the CPG on Sustainable Transport’s inquiry into the decarbonisation of Scotland’s public transport. Transform Scotland provides the secretariat for the CPG.
The inquiry, held over the spring and summer of 2023, collected evidence from key industry experts to provide the Government with a set of recommendations and next steps needed to remove public transport’s reliance on fossil fuels.
The report highlighted that, in addition to improving air pollution and public health, decarbonising Scotland’s public transport fleets will allow Scotland to capitalise on its wealth of renewables and establish local climate-friendly fuel supply chains.
The Group recommends that the Scottish Government brings forward its ‘Green Industrial Strategy’ (promised in 2021 but still to be published) with a key focus on decarbonising public transport in order to end reliance on fossil fuels.
Read more about the key findings and recommendations in the report below:
The Cross Party Group (CPG) on Sustainable Transport met in the Scottish Parliament to discuss next steps for cutting emissions from Scotland’s public transport with MSPs and industry experts.
Read more about the event here:
6 December 2023
To coincide with the launch of its new inquiry report on public transport decarbonisation ‘Fossil-Free Future‘, the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Sustainable Transport met in the Scottish Parliament to discuss next steps for cutting emissions from Scotland’s public transport.
Zero-Carbon Public Transport Summit
We brought together our members, transport operators and local politicians and organisations in our Zero-Carbon Public Transport Summit held in Inverness in Spring 2023.
The event saw a panel of MSPs, MPs and local councillors contribute their thoughts on zero-carbon public transport in addition to roundtable discussions, contributions from bus, rail and ferry operators such as Stagecoach, ScotRail and CMAL.
The summit was a great opportunity to discuss the challenges in decarbonisation as well as the opportunities which come with transitioning to a zero-carbon public transport network.
Read more about the event below:
3 July 2023
We report on our Zero-Carbon Public Transport Summit held in Inverness – which brought together our members, local politicians and transport operators to discuss cutting emissions from Scotland’s public transport network.