We report on the Scottish Government’s progress in meeting its sustainable transport commitments – from decarbonising the railways to investment in walking, wheeling and cycling.
Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the Scottish Government has committed to a broad range of transport interventions to tackle the nation’s top polluting sector.
However, setting the right targets is not enough. Given the urgency that climate change demands, we think it is critical to ensure these targets are not just announced, but are adhered to in a timely and equitable manner.
The Scottish Government’s commitments
To ensure the Government remains accountable, we’ve scrutinised progress on ten transport commitments that have been announced in successive Programmes for Government following the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019. In our most recent report ‘Off Track‘, we found that, despite some aspects being on track, progress on many commitments has been slow — and some targets are at risk of being missed all together.
Review the status of the 10 commitments in our tracker below. For detailed commentary on each commitment, head to the full report.
and/or target likely to be reached
Increase the active travel budget
“ensure that at least £320 million or 10% of the total transport budget goes on active travel by 2024‑25”
Under-22s free bus travel
“provide nationwide free bus travel for Scotland’s young people aged under 22 from 31st January 2022”
Phase out ICE vehicles
“creating conditions to phase out the need for all new petrol and diesel vehicles in Scotland’s public sector fleet by 2030”
and/or risk of missing target
“reduce emissions from Scotland’s railways to zero by 2035”
Bus priority investment
“invest over £500 million in improved bus priority infrastructure to tackle the impacts of congestion on bus services and raise bus usage”
Fair Fares Review
“commission a Fair Fares Review to ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to transport fares”
“ensure that 30% of state owned ferries are low emission by 2032”
and/or target is unlikely to be reached
Car traffic reduction
“achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres driven by 2030”
“beginning plans to reallocate road space on parts of the motorway network around Glasgow to high-occupancy vehicles such as buses”
Decarbonise bus fleets
“remove the majority of diesel buses from public transport by the end of 2023”
Throughout the year we continue to monitor the Government’s progress on its commitments to sustainable transport – from pricing interventions to bus priority to decarbonising the railways.
Find our most recent updates all in one place below:
22 August 2023
Targeting Traffic project lead Elspeth Wray reports on the Government’s ambitious commitment to cutting traffic levels by a fifth by 2030.
18 July 2023
In our latest guest article, Transport & Environment (T&E)‘s UK director Richard Hebditch reports on the progress with phasing out the top polluters in the transport sector: petrol and diesel…
14 June 2023
Dr. John McCormick, Chair of the Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT), reports on the future of Scotland’s ferry fleet and the the Government’s commitment to reduce emissions by 2032….
21 March 2023
North Wales Transport Commissioner Sue Flack reports on recent policy developments in Wales and what Scotland can learn from their success. Transform Scotland is always keen to learn lessons from…
Ten years of reporting
Take a look at our past reports which scrutinise Scotland’s sustainable transport landscape, tracking progress from as early as 2012.
You can directly compare our 2022 report Stuck in Traffic with our 2023 report Off Track. Both review the Scottish Government’s progress on the same ten sustainable transport commitments.