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On this page, you will find the latest news from Transform Scotland, with the occasional contribution from some of our member groups.


UK Budget a disaster for the Climate Crisis

03 March 2021

Commenting on today’s UK Budget, Transform director Colin Howden said: “Today’s Budget will go down as another disaster for the climate. The focus on one crisis is understandable, but not to take account of the greater crisis is unforgivable. Even the Chancellor’s hero Margaret Thatcher had a greater grasp of the need to tackle climate…


Action on bus priority needed to turn around bus patronage trends

24 February 2021

Commenting on today’s publication by the Scottish Government of its ‘Scottish Transport Statistics 2020‘ publication, Transform director Colin Howden said: “It’s hardly surprising that people will abandon buses if bus fares continue to increase and the buses themselves are given no priority over single-occupant cars. “The government has subsequently committed to free bus travel for…


New nationwide road pricing system must include zero emission vehicles

22 February 2021

Transform Scotland is publishing its response to the UK Parliament’s call for evidence on zero emission vehicles and road pricing. The call for evidence is set in the context of a commitment by the UK Government to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, which has been matched by the…


Moving the Vote: transport conversations with the parties

18 February 2021

The Scottish Parliamentary elections in May will prove crucial for the future of sustainable transport in Scotland. In advance of May’s Scottish Parliament elections, we are hosting a series of online events to provide our members, the wider transport sector, and members of the public with the opportunity to engage with representatives of the main…


Cycle Connections at Queen Margaret University

18 February 2021

Cycle Connections was set up by Queen Margaret Universities Sustainable Transport Team as a tool to increase active travel rates amongst staff and students as well as creating a scheme through which to hire bikes, run events, offer training and to source funding. Our key aim is to create an environment that places walking and…


Campaign Update: Unambiguous investment plans required, not nebulous promises

18 February 2021

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden reports on recent climate and capital expenditure plans revealed by the Scottish Government. The last couple of months has seen a deluge of new Scottish Government policy documents, in which various commitments to sustainable transport investment have been made. December saw the Climate Change Plan Update published. In transport terms,…


Moving the Vote: Graham Simpson outlines the Conservatives’ vision for sustainable transport

17 February 2021

We held the first in our ‘Moving the Vote, transport conversations with the parties’ event series on Monday 15 February. We were delighted to welcome Graham Simpson MSP, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity from the Scottish Conservatives, and Alastair Dalton, Transport Correspondent for The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday, as chair. For details…


“Now is the time for bolder, more transformational action” — Welcome for Edinburgh city mobility plan

12 February 2021

Transform Scotland today warmly welcomed The City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘City Mobility Plan‘, which was published this morning. Transform’s director Colin Howden said: “It’s great to see the new emphasis on bold, transformational action from Edinburgh Council. This had been our main concern about the draft plans which were consulted upon last year. [1] “We’re…


Support for Scottish Ministers’ proposal for Direct Award of ScotRail contract

11 February 2021

Transform Scotland have today responded to Transport Scotland’s ‘Franchising Policy Statement Consultation’. In our response, we agree with the Scottish Ministers that it should pursue a Direct Award for ScotRail services. Transform’s rail spokesperson Paul Tetlaw said: “In the absence of a new long-term structure for the railway from the UK Government, it is clear…


Transport priorities must change to achieve a Green Recovery

09 February 2021

Ahead of this afternoon’s Scottish Parliament debate, we have published a parliamentary briefing welcoming the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s inquiry report on Green Recovery. The Government’s Climate Change Plan update contains a number of welcome measures for transport (e.g. 20% traffic reduction target) but will require further strengthening (e.g. inclusion…


Infrastructure Investment Plan “disastrous” for climate change & sustainable transport

04 February 2021

When the Scottish Government published the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan in September last year we called the Government out on its ‘warm words’ about a green recovery and sustainable investment while continuing its disproportionately high investment in high-carbon infrastructure. In our response to the draft we urged the Government to realign its transport spending with…


Moving the Vote: transport conversations with the parties

02 February 2021

In advance of May’s Scottish Parliament elections, we are hosting a series of online events to provide our members, the wider transport sector, and members of the public with the opportunity to engage with representatives of the main political parties in Scotland. A representative from each of the five main political parties in Scotland will…


Scottish Budget: No new investment for sustainable transport

28 January 2021

The Scottish Government published its 2021/22 budget today, setting out its spending priorities for the coming year. The transport portfolio appears to contain no surprises but also no new investment for sustainable transport beyond what has already been announced. Nonetheless, the budget includes a number of positive spending priorities, including: £100.5 million for active travel…


20% traffic reduction target will be missed without demand management

27 January 2021

Transform director, Colin Howden, today gave oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on the updated Climate Change Plan. Colin was joined by, amongst others, Sustrans Scotland’s director John Lauder and Professor Jillian Anable from the University of Leeds in front of the Committee. One of the most important aspects of…


January Newsletter — Campaigns Update

21 January 2021

Transform Scotland Communications Officer Matt McDonald reports on a selection of our recent campaigns activities. Scotland’s Climate Assembly Transform communications officer Matt McDonald gave evidence to Scotland’s Climate Assembly ‘Transport and Work’ stream on Saturday 9 January. You can view the video in full here: Matt then attended a session of the Children’s Parliament to…


January Newsletter — Aviation Environment Federation — Member Profile

21 January 2021

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) campaigns on aviation’s impacts, for people and the environment. We formed in 1975 as a federation of community groups near airports who were impacted by aircraft noise and wanted national level representation. We still represent our members on noise issues, while also now advocating for effective Government policies on aviation’s…


Climate Change Plan update not fit for the Climate Emergency

19 January 2021

Transform Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Parliament Energy, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on the updated Climate Change Plan. We shared our response to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s call for evidence separately last week which focused more on specific transport policies and you can read here. Speaking…


Greater ambition required in Climate Plan to transform transport

14 January 2021

Transform Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Parliament Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s call for evidence on the updated Climate Change Plan. In our response, we note that there has been absolutely no progress in emission reduction from the transport sector over the past 30 years, with the result that transport is now…


Evidence to Climate Assembly calls for overhaul of infrastructure investment priorities

11 January 2021

Transform communications officer, Matt McDonald, gave evidence to Scotland’s Climate Assembly ‘Transport and Work’ stream on Saturday 9 January. Recommendations from the Assembly will be put to Scottish Ministers at the end of the process. In the video, Matt covers three key points on surface transport in Scotland: Transport remains Scotland’s most problematic sector, accounting…


Welcome for hard shoulder running for buses on M8 and M9 Trunk Roads (Newbridge to Hermiston Gait)

08 January 2021

Transform Scotland has responded to Transport Scotland’s ‘Consultation on the M8 and M9 Trunk Roads (Newbridge to Hermiston Gait) (Actively Managed Hard Shoulder and Speed Limit) Regulations’. The consultation remains open until 13 January. Transform’s policy adviser Nigel Bagshaw commented: “Any measures to improve bus reliability and journey times are to be welcomed and I…


New Year’s Message: Transform welcomes Julianne Robertson as new Chair

07 January 2021

I wonder if a New Year has ever been more welcomed than 2021?  Following on from the so-called “unprecedented challenges” of 2020 we are all longing to turn the page and begin again.  Unfortunately, a new year does not automatically reset our current circumstances, but it does bring hope.  At the risk of sounding cliched,…


No demand for Irish Sea Bridge

30 December 2020

Transform Scotland has published its evidence submitted to the Union Connectivity Review, the call for submissions for which ends today. In our evidence, we find that there is no evidence case on grounds of travel demand for a fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland, but that significant improvements could be made to public transport…


Strong transport ambition in new climate plan will require overhaul of investment priorities

16 December 2020

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s ‘Update to the Climate Change Plan‘, Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “The most eye-catching item is the commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. [1] This is a welcome and long-overdue return to road traffic reduction as a headline policy objective. However, promising traffic…


Transform’s priorities for the Climate Change Plan

16 December 2020

We have today commented on what we see as priorities for the Scottish Government’s ‘Climate Change Plan update’ due to be published later today. Transform director Colin Howden said: “Transport is the largest source of emissions (36%) and there has been no progress in emission reduction over the last 30 years. Given these past failures,…


CCC again fails to lead criticism of high-carbon transport priorities

09 December 2020

Commenting on today’s ‘Sixth Carbon Budget’ from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “The ambition for a 70% cut in surface transport emissions by 2035 is laudable. However, in transport at least, the CCC continues to concentrate on technofixes, missing the wider co-benefits from a greater focus on…