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What’s New


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

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…

Free bus travel for under 19s supported, but questions on impact remain

07 December 2020

Transform Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Government ‘Free bus travel for people resident in Scotland aged under 19′ consultation, which closes today. Marie Ferdelman, Transform policy officer, said: “The cost of travel is an important factor to consider for many young people when travelling to their place of education, leisure activities or…

November Newsletter — Campaigns Update

26 November 2020

Transform Scotland communications officer Matt McDonald reports on a selection of our recent campaigns activities. Bus Over the past month, we held two events to support bus use.  On 17 November we hosted the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Cycling, Walking, and Buses. Keith Watson (Customer Development Director, Alexander Dennis Limited) spoke on the…

Building back better?: Scotland’s capital expenditure priorities

26 November 2020

Transform director Colin Howden writes about the capital expenditure choices faced by national and local governments. The next few months promise to be a busy period for decision-making on infrastructure investment, with a multitude of overlapping processes underway. But it remains an open question as to whether governments, central and local, will live up to…

November Newsletter — Members’ Profile: Hiyacar

26 November 2020

Hiyacar is the UK’s longest trading peer to peer car sharing platform with over 100,000 members. Their aim is to change local mobility by enabling people to share their cars with others in their local community. By getting drivers a car when and where they want one, hiyacar is making better use of some of…

National charities call for review of government’s transport spending plans

24 November 2020

Paths for All, RSPB Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, Transform Scotland & WWF Scotland send joint letter to Scottish Ministers A group of national transport and environment charities have today (Tuesday 24th) written to Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson to express their “deep concern” at the transport spending priorities set out in the Scottish Government’s draft Infrastructure Investment…

Infrastructure Investment Plan maintains historic bias towards high-carbon transport

20 November 2020

Transform Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the ‘Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26’. Transform Scotland’s Policy Officer Marie Ferdelman said: “Given the context of the Climate Emergency and the continued high climate impact of the Scottish transport sector we would have expected the Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan to…

Parliament report on Green Recovery highlights key actions to “transform transport networks”

09 November 2020

Transform Scotland has today welcomed the report of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s ‘Green Recovery Inquiry Report’. On transport, the report identifies “the need to transform transport networks was identified as critical to a green recovery” (p33), and goes on to make recommendations to: Promote public transport: the committee “seeks…

October Newsletter — Campaigns Update

29 October 2020

Transform’s communications officer Matt McDonald reports on a selection of our recent campaigns activities. Infrastructure Investment Plan We had a close look at the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) upon its publication on 24 September. We shared our initial reaction on the day of publication. Transform director, Colin Howden, commented: “There are lots of warm…

October Newsletter — Members’ Profile: A96 Action

29 October 2020

A96 Action was formed in October 2018 in response to Transport Scotland’s proposals to create a “new A96” to the north of Inverurie in the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section of the proposed dual carriageway from Aberdeen to Inverness. While the A96 Action Group supports measures that improve road safety, address peak time congestion,…

Transform’s Annual Report for 2020

29 October 2020

Transform’s enterprise manager Elspeth Wray writes: 2020 has been a year of profound change. It’s sometimes a struggle to remember what life was like at the start of the year, but we’ve just published our Annual Report to help make sense of it all.  We started the year with two main campaign priorities: (1) to…

Transport, Design, or the Design of Transport — Transform’s enterprises

15 October 2020

Today we’re sharing our September newsletter for Transform Creative and Transform Consulting. Whether you’re interested in transport or design, or the design of transport, we’re delighted to share our stories with you. You can read the news in full here. It shares: Branding work that Transform Creative completed to launch the Environmental Port Index in…

High-carbon roads remain the priority in ‘business as usual’ Infrastructure Investment Plan

12 October 2020

Transform policy officer, Marie Ferdelman, presented to members and supporters on the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) for Scotland 2021-22 to 2025-26. You can find the full presentation here and view the video of the presentation here. Marie presented an overview of the transport content in the draft IIP including summarising the low-carbon and high-carbon…

M9 Winchburgh Junction proposals fail to deliver on the priorities of the NTS

08 October 2020

Transform submitted our objection to the M9 Winchburgh Junction proposals to Transport Scotland. Our objection is based on a number of reasons: It fails to deliver on any of the four main priorities in the National Transport Strategy – to reduce inequalities, taking climate action, helping deliver inclusive economic growth, and improving health and wellbeing….

Scotland’s Railway: Decarbonisation and Enhancement

29 September 2020

The Convener of Transform’s Policy Forum, Paul Tetlaw, has written an article for the Rail Professional journal looking at the plans for decarbonising Scotland’s railway. You can read the article in full on the Rail Professional website.

Infrastructure Investment Plan fails to act on Climate Emergency

24 September 2020

Transform Scotland has published its initial views on the Infrastructure Investment Plan. Transform director Colin Howden said: “There are lots of warm words in the Plan about ‘Green Recovery’, ‘Green Jobs’, and ‘Net Zero Carbon Economy’. But as far as we can see there’s not a single new penny in the Plan for low-carbon, sustainable…

September Newsletter — Campaigns Update

24 September 2020

Programme for Government Our focus over the past month has been the 2020-21 Programme for Government (PfG) which was published on 1 September. Our main observation is that whilst the focus on green jobs is laudable, the transport components of the PfG are unimpressive, generally restating commitments made twelve months ago on which progress has…

September Newsletter — Member Profile: Green Action Trust

24 September 2020

Green Action Trust – Scotland’s leading environmental regeneration charity. The Green Action Trust is the trusted delivery partner focussed on environmental and regeneration outcomes for Scotland. We work with a range of private, public and charity partners across Scotland to turn ideas into tangible change, to build more sustainable communities and a greener country. We…