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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.

Transport Bill a “missed opportunity” for buses

02 October 2018

Call for Bill to tackle the root causes of the decline in bus patronage Transform Scotland [1] has today (Tuesday 2 October) published its evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on the Government’s Transport Bill.  The Bill is now being scrutinised by the Parliament’s Committees, and Transform is giving oral evidence…

Tom Hart’s transport news digest, July to September 2018

30 September 2018

Tom Hart from Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT) writes on transport news from 1 July to 30 September 2018: MAIN ISSUES Final decisions on Brexit continue to cause uncertainty which could have major impacts on transport and the economy. In addition to major concerns on ferry policy, another aggravated issue is whether a weakened…

‘Transport is now Scotland’s biggest sectoral challenge’ says Committee on Climate Change annual report

24 September 2018

Today’s annual report to the Scottish Parliament made by the independent Committee on Climate Change has shown “Scotland’s progress in reducing emissions from the power sector masks a lack of action in other areas, particularly transport, agriculture, forestry and land use.” The Committee notes that emissions from the transport sector have increased in every year from…

A Health Voice for Sustainable Transport in Scotland

12 September 2018

We have today published a briefing from the Faculty of Public Health on the health benefits of sustainable transport. The briefing sets out the role that health professionals can play in championing sustainable transport as the healthiest option for Scotland and why this vision led the Faculty of Public Health to join Transform Scotland. We…

Scottish Government Programme for Government — Our response

04 September 2018

Commenting on today’s Scottish Government Programme for Government announcement, Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “The Programme for Government contains much talk about low-carbon transport. But actual investment remains grotesquely skewed towards vastly-expensive high-carbon roads projects. The First Minister’s speech contained a long list of new road projects. [1] However, she was unable to mention…

Notice of Transform Scotland 2018 Annual General Meeting & autumn Members’ Sessions

30 August 2018

Dear Members, I’m writing to advise you of the events we’re holding this autumn. Thursday 11 October, 17:45-20:30 — Annual General Meeting For our AGM this year, we are grateful for the hospitality of Cllr Lesley Macinnes for hosting us in Edinburgh City Chambers. The AGM will be held from 17:45-18:15. The agenda for the…

‘Celtic Capitals’ rail service linking Edinburgh & Cardiff a must for new franchise

30 August 2018

NEWS RELEASE For immediate release Thursday 30 August 2018 ‘CELTIC CAPITALS’ RAIL SERVICE LINKING EDINBURGH & CARDIFF A MUST FOR NEW FRANCHISE Transform Scotland [1] has called for the new Cross Country rail franchise to include direct Edinburgh-Cardiff rail services. [2] The demand comes as part of Transform Scotland’s response to the UK Government’s call…

Evidence submitted to Parliament on Climate Change Bill

28 August 2018

Transform Scotland have today responded to the call for written evidence on the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill. The evidence has been submitted to the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee ahead of today’s deadline for evidence. In the evidence paper, Transform Scotland sets out three ‘Opportunities for Greater Ambition’ in the…

Comment on public sector bid for ScotRail franchise

23 August 2018

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Scottish Ministers that they would support a public sector bid for the ScotRail franchise, Transform Scotland’s rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw commented: “Rail services in Scotland perform much better than many other parts of the UK — contrary to the view put forward by some. “That’s not to say we…

Inter-City Express presentation to Royal Scottish Geographical Society

21 August 2018

Transform Scotland chair Phil Matthews presented to this evening’s Royal Scottish Geographical Society meeting on rail, alongside ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes. Phil’s presentation is available for download.

Campaigners attack ‘broken promises’ on Highland Main Line rail upgrade

06 August 2018

NEWS RELEASEMonday 6 August 2018 Campaigners attack ‘broken promises’ on Highland Main Line rail upgrade The Scottish Government has failed to deliver on a promise made 10 years ago by the then First Minister to slash train journey times from Inverness to Edinburgh and Glasgow, say rail campaigners. To mark the 10th anniversary of the public…

Sustrans Scotland’s role in the new National Transport Strategy

20 July 2018

Transform Scotland are pleased to publish its Members’ Briefing ‘Sustrans Scotland’s role in the development of the new National Transport Strategy’, written by Sustrans Scotland’s director John Lauder. John concludes the briefing as follows: “We look forward to the conclusion of the National Transport Strategy (NTS) and a strategy that better integrates and prioritises active…

Tom Hart’s transport notes, 1 April to 30 June 2018

30 June 2018

Transport commentary from Tom Hart of Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT). MAIN ISSUES The Brexit debate continues to leave much uncertainty about the future state of the British economy and a changing role for transport. Wider changes in trend show slower growth or falls in passenger movement per head within the UK. The growth…

New report sets out ‘Routes to Growth’ for cycle tourism economy

25 June 2018

Report calls for fully segregated cycle paths along selected key tourist routes Transform Scotland today (Monday 25th) launched the report ‘Routes to Growth: Developing Scotland’s Cycle Tourism Sector’. The report builds upon earlier research by Transform Scotland and Sustrans Scotland which highlighted the multi-million pound benefits of leisure cycle tourism to the Scottish economy (up…

Transport (Scotland) Bill: some initial thoughts

17 June 2018

The Scottish Ministers introduced the Transport (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament on 11 June 2018. We had already made known our thoughts on how the Bill could be improved in our report ‘Getting the Bill Right’ published earlier that month. Here our policy advisor Chris Day sets out some initial thoughts on the Bill….

Connectivity Commission highlights major challenges for Glasgow’s transport

14 June 2018

Transform Scotland has today welcomed the interim findings of the Glasgow Connectivity Commission. Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said: “The commission has highlighted some of major challenges faced by Glasgow’s transport system, the most important of which must be the worryingly rapid decline in bus use. Despite the low car ownership in the city,…

New government statistics show transport is holding back action on climate change

12 June 2018

New statistics published today by the Scottish Government have revealed that transport is the largest source of carbon emissions in Scotland — and emissions are increasing. The Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2016 publication shows changes in emissions from each sector in Scotland between 2015 and 2016, as  well as long-term changes against the 1990 baseline targets. The…

Getting The Bill Right: Transform calls for Parking Levies in Government’s Transport Bill

29 May 2018

Transform Scotland has today released its new report on the Scottish Government’s Transport Bill. The Bill is due to be published within the next few weeks. The report, Getting The Bill Right, sets out a number of recommendations to deliver a Transport Bill which is fit for purpose and delivers a transformation in Scotland’s transport…

Welcome for new call to re-connect Perth and Edinburgh by rail

29 May 2018

A new report published today has echoed our call to reinstate a direct rail line between Perth and Edinburgh. Greengauge 21, a rail consultancy group, made the recommendation as part of their new report, ‘Beyond HS2‘. The report sets out a number of improvements that are necessary to improve rail connections across the UK. The…

The North-South Railway Divide: Rail revolution needed to cut journey times going north

14 May 2018

Transform Scotland has today revealed research highlighting huge disparities in rail journey times north and south of the Central Belt. ‘The North-South Railway Divide’, published as part of the Inter-City Express campaign, compares journey times from the Central Belt to Inverness, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, to journeys heading south of the Border. The research found…

Welcome for East Lothian transport strategy proposals

10 May 2018

Transform Scotland has submitted its views to East Lothian Council in response to its consultation on a new Local Transport Strategy. Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland said: “There is good intention in the new draft Local Transport Strategy, with the problems and challenges comprehensively described. However, meeting the objectives depends on focussed projects with…

Fixing the local road network should be the focus for Scottish roads policy

09 May 2018

Transform Scotland have circulated a parliamentary motion in advance of the Wednesday 9 May Scottish Parliament debate on road maintance led by Rachael Hamilton MSP. Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, commented: “The Scottish Government should prioritise fixing the local road network ahead of pursuing a £9 billion trunk road building programme. This would benefit…

More funding for walking and cycling is welcome news

08 May 2018

The Scottish Government has revealed that a fund to create walking and cycling routes will be more than doubled. The Community Links Fund, which will be increased to £36 million, allows public bodies and community trusts to develop safe and high quality cycle routes across Scotland. The increase comes as part of the recently doubled…

Who’s in the Driving Seat? Why sustainable transport needs local leadership

04 May 2018

Transform Scotland have published a series of recommendations for improving the delivery of local, sustainable transport. The series of recommendations were set out by Transform Scotland director Colin Howden at the Society of Chief Officers in Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) annual seminar being held in Pitlochry today. Colin Howden said: “Most transport is local, and…

Transform calls for “ineffective” Transport Acts to be scrutinised by Parliament

30 April 2018

Transform Scotland has presented its views to the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee on the scrutiny of Government legislation. The REC Committee’s Call for Evidence, which closes today, invites views on whether Acts passed since the founding of the Scottish Parliament have been effective. Transform Scotland’s response focuses on several Acts passed by the…