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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.

Edinburgh residents’ views wanted on Tourist Tax plans

10 May 2019

We are today making our final call for responses to our online survey on Edinburgh’s proposed Transient Visitor Levy (‘Tourist Tax’). Transform wants to know how residents think the revenue generated from the tax should be distributed. As part of a report we will be publishing later this year, we have created a survey aimed…

Air Passenger Duty: Welcome for Scottish Government’s change of policy

07 May 2019

NEWS RELEASE Air Passenger Duty: Welcome for Scottish Government’s change of policy Transform Scotland [1] has today (Tuesday 7 May) welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to cancel its plans to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD) / Air Departure Tax (ADT). Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland: “Nicola Sturgeon has shown strong leadership in reversing this…

Infrastructure plans must prioritise climate, health and equalities

03 May 2019

We have today submitted our response to the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s consultation. In our response, we make the case that it is imperative that the Commission takes as the centrepiece of its consideration the provision of infrastructure that: Tackles the Climate Emergency declared by the First Minister. Improves public health and reduces health inequalities….

Waverley not fit for purpose as 21st century transport hub for Scotland’s capital city

26 April 2019

Transform has today published its response to the Edinburgh Waverley Masterplan consultation. Rail spokesperson Paul Tetlaw said: “For all its listed status, the current station is not fit for purpose as a 21st century transport hub. Significant changes to the existing structures are necessary to create a fitting station and transport hub to serve Scotland’s…

#LoveMyBus at Ladies Day

15 April 2019

Last Friday we were delighted to attend Ladies Day at Ayr racecourse with our partners, Stagecoach West Scotland. We were there to promote our upcoming #LoveMyBus campaign. A beautiful morning gave us a great start to the day. Beautiful day for Ladies Day at @ayrracecourse. Come and see us at the races! Transform's own ladies…

Views needed from Edinburgh residents on Transient Visitor Levy

09 April 2019

The City of Edinburgh Council is looking to introduce a Transient Visitor Levy, also known as ‘Tourist Tax’, after months of discussion between the City’s stakeholders about demand for the levy and how it best be introduced. The Scottish Government will have a consultation on the Transient Visitor Levy this year and, if approved, will…

Transport Bill debate in Parliament: need for further action to reverse decline in bus use

04 April 2019

We have published the parliamentary briefing that we have issued to all Members of the Scottish Parliament ahead of this afternoon’s Stage 1 Debate on the Transport (Scotland) Bill. Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said: “While the provisions in the Bill on buses are generally welcome, they should not be seen as a panacea…

Climate Bill debate in Parliament: action needed on sustainable transport

02 April 2019

We have published a parliamentary briefing issued to all Members of the Scottish Parliament ahead of this afternoon’s Climate Bill Stage 1 report. The briefing welcomes the environment committee’s finding that clear climate pathways need to be found to deliver emission reduction in key sectors such as transport where there is opportunity to be much…

Tom Hart’s transport notes, 1 January to 31 March 2019

31 March 2019

Tom Hart, from Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT), comments, in a personal capacity, on Scottish transport policy.   WIDER ISSUES Growing worldwide pressures to avoid a major climatic disaster by accelerated moves to near zero carbon emissions by 2050 are supported by the Scottish Government yet are in conflict with government encouragement for further…

National leadership needed on Safer Streets Bill

26 March 2019

Transform Scotland have today, alongside 24 other active travel, health, child advocacy, poverty and environment organisations, written to the First Minister to call for leadership and her support of the Safer Streets Bill. Lower speed limits, and particularly 20mph in urban areas, save lives. They are proven to reduce the number, and severity, of injuries…

Investment in bus services critical to reversing decline

20 March 2019

We have issued a parliamentary briefing in advance of this afternoon’s Scottish Parliamentary debate by the Scottish Labour Party on bus services. Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “Providing free bus travel for the under-25s may have merit as a policy, but we would wish to see further evidence as to its likely impact. Whether…

Great news for Scottish public transport as Edinburgh votes to extend tram to Newhaven

14 March 2019

Commenting on the decision by The City of Edinburgh Council’s decision to extend the tram to Leith & Newhaven, Transform Scotland’s Paul Tetlaw said: “Cities around the world – many much smaller than Edinburgh – are developing and expanding light rail systems. They can efficiently transport large numbers of passengers on key transport corridors and…

Bus priorities and quality assurance feature in Parliament report on Transport Bill — Transform briefing

11 March 2019

On Thursday last week, the Parliament’s transport committee published its Stage 1 report on the Transport Bill. We were pleased to see many of our concerns raised by the Committee in the report. Below is a policy briefing by Transform Scotland’s Policy Advisor Chris Day on the Stage 1 report. Chris outlines the key points…

Climate report identifies need for emission reduction pathways for transport

04 March 2019

Today saw the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee publish the Stage 1 report on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. While the headlines relate to the Net Zero targets, some of the conclusions for the transport sector are potentially significant. Transform welcomes the Committee’s finding that clear climate pathways need to…

Paul Tetlaw completes tenure as chair of the ScotRail Stakeholder Advisory Panel

27 February 2019

On Wednesday 27 February, after three years, Paul Tetlaw has completed his tenure as the chair of the ScotRail Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Paul passes on his appreciation to ScotRail management staff and other Panel members for the work they have done together over the last 3 years. He would also like to send his best…

Professor Adrian Davis on The UK Transport policy menu

26 February 2019

In January, Transform members heard from Professor Adrian Davis from Edinburgh Napier University Transport Research Institute, on his paper: ‘The UK Transport policy menu: Roads, roads, and a dash of multi-modalism.’ Adrian spoke on the challenges of achieving large scale behaviour change in public transport use. Adrian argued that behavioural change can occur when evidence…

Priorities for climate action — Spokes Bulletin feature

25 February 2019

Spokes Bulletin 133 is now out and includes an insert by Transform Scotland on ‘Transport and Climate’. Transport is Scotland’s largest source of emissions and despite current plans, which are deeply inadequate, Scotland’s transport sector provides ample opportunities for greater ambition in cutting emissions. This would also deliver benefits for public hearth, equalities, congestion, and…

Transform’s Michelle Brophy on Traffic Demand Management Measures

25 February 2019

On 12 December 2018, Transform Scotland members heard from Transform’s Research Manager, Michelle Brophy, on Traffic Demand Management Measures. Michelle facilitated a discussion about Private Non-Residential Parking Levies but also other demand management measures such as road user charging. Michelle also shared her expertise from her experience of working in Perth, Australia on similar demand management policies….

Delivering sustainable and renewable transportation for Scotland

21 February 2019

Transform today prepared a parliamentary briefing ahead of today’s debate on ‘Delivering sustainable and renewable transportation’ debate led by the Scottish Conservatives’ transport spokesperson Jamie Greene MSP. The briefing makes the case that there is ample opportunity from the Scottish sustainable transport sector for reducing climate emissions. The briefing also notes that technology alone is…

Shotts Line – electrification, new timetable and Breich Station

13 February 2019

Transform Scotland have today written to Bill Reeve, the Director of Rail at Transport Scotland, to stress the potential of this upgraded route for end to end journeys between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central and the opportunity now presented to develop much greater patronage at key stations along the route.

Poppy Marples joins Transform team in tourism role

13 February 2019

We’re happy to announce that Poppy Marples has joined the Transform team as ‘Transport & Tourism Researcher’, on a five-month placement from Edinburgh Napier University.   Transport & Tourism Researcher: Poppy Marples Poppy joined Transform Scotland in January 2019 on a five-month placement from Napier University where she is studying International Tourism Management BA (Hons)….

Holyrood parties challenged on Workplace Parking Levy

13 February 2019

Transform Scotland have joined other environmental and transport organisations to write to the leaders of the five political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament. The letter challenges the party leaders to support plans for Workplace Parkies Levies, as outlined in the Scottish Budget agreement between the SNP and the Greens, and to advocate for the…

New Year message from Transform’s Chair

02 January 2019

In a year dominated by Brexit, for most Scots it will still have been their day to day experiences that have affected their quality of life the most. Our transport system will have been central to this. We will have used it to access work and leisure, to go on holiday, to visit family and…

Tom Hart’s transport news, 1 October to 31 December 2018

31 December 2018

Tom Hart of Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT) gives his quarterly commentary on Scottish transport issues: MAIN ISSUES International Conferences have again highlighted the need for faster action to keep rises in global temperatures below 1.5C by 2030 and moving on to zero emissions in order to avoid major habitat change and severe adverse…

LNER Trackside Mileage Signs on the East Coast Main Line

13 December 2018

Transform Scotland rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw reports: As a regular traveller on the ECML I noted that the mileage signs erected by the LNER in the 1920s were badly neglected and appeared to be in danger of collapse. These signs are part of the history of the route and add interest to modern day travellers…