Our work ranges from walking, cycling and road safety through to bus, rail, car sharing and sustainable tourism.
Here are examples of our recent work:
A Green Journey to Growth, Virgin Trains
We provided extensive new evidence for the carbon benefits of switching from air to rail for travel between Scotland and London. For the first time, we measured the carbon savings that have been generated by a switch from air to rail between 2005 and 2015, and then looked forward to analyse what level of carbon savings could be achieved if modal shift continues. We also examined the environmental benefits that could be achieved for governments, businesses and individuals by changing their travel behaviour.
Our report won extensive positive media coverage across Scotland, highlighting the positive environmental role Virgin Trains is playing. This included front page in the Herald, stories in the Scotsman and Business Insider, and leading pieces on BBC Reporting Scotland and radio news.
Furthermore, the Report was presented at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce annual parliamentary reception to an audience of prominent MSPs and business leaders.
Electric vehicles around the world, WWF Scotland
Our research for WWF Scotland showed how Scotland is now among the top five global leaders on phasing out fossil fuel vehicles.
WWF have long campaigned for electric vehicles in Scotland. To assist them, we undertook research on the commitments that countries around the world are making to phasing out fossil-fuelled cars. Our research comprised (1) a desktop-review of currently available data and (2) consultation with our network of Scottish, European and international contacts to collect the latest information on the introduction of electric vehicles around the world. We presented our findings in an international league table of countries’ ambitions.
Our research findings were presented to MSPs at party political conferences and used by WWF Scotland in their campaign for Scotland’s electric vehicle target to be enshrined in legislation.
20mph speed limits, a report for the Green MSPs
We were commissioned by the Scottish Green Party to write a report to demonstrate the case for a default 20mph speed limit for residential areas in Scotland. Through desk-based research and interviews with Scottish local authorities, we reviewed research for and against 20mph, experiences of existing implementation of 20mph, and the political backdrop for speed restrictions.
We concluded that a nationwide default 20 mph limit for urban and residential areas could have a much stronger impact on speeds than piecemeal, street by street, or local authority by local authority introduction of 20 mph limits, but that a major awareness-raising / promotional campaign would be a key success factor.
Our report was used by the Green Party to inform parliamentary debate about 20mph.
We provided expertise in project management, business planning, monitoring and evaluation to help the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) launch a new bike hire scheme for students.
Through strong project management and planning, we successfully steered the project from inception through to successful launch in September 2015. We assessed operational, procurement, legal and insurance issues to design an efficient and effective hire scheme; coordinated the work of suppliers, University and EUSA staff; made cost, income, profit and loss calculations to assess the financial viability of a bike hire scheme; evaluated the likely impacts of the scheme through surveys and focus groups; and prepared a business case setting out the rationale, audience, operation and finance for the scheme.
The bike hire scheme is part of Cycling Scotland’s new Cycle Friendly Campus Award. The University of Edinburgh was one of five higher education institutions selected to assist Cycling Scotland with the development of the Award. The bike hire scheme aimed to test innovative ways of encouraging and supporting cycling amongst students.
Design and branding services, Living Streets
Living Streets Scotland are a loyal client. We have created infographics and visuals for the successful campaign to bring 20mph speed limits to Edinburgh, developed a brand for the Living Streets Edinburgh campaigning group and provided photography for several events and photo opps. Our photographic collaboration with Living Streets was exhibited during 2015 European Mobility Week.
Community Rail Campaigning, Levenmouth Rail Campaign
We provided consultancy advice to the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, to help them make the case for reinstating the railway line between Glenrothes and Leven in Fife, the largest urban area in Scotland not directly served by rail. We helped to refine the campaign’s messaging, agree a communications approach, produce campaign materials and provide technical advice on Scottish rail policy and transport appraisal. As a result, a motion in favour of the project received all-party support at Holyrood, and a commitment to reopen the line was included in political parties’ election manifestos.
Linlithgow celebrates European Mobility Week, West Lothian Council
We worked with Ansons Consulting to design, organise and deliver events in Linlithgow to celebrate European Mobility Week. The purpose of the events was to encourage residents and employees in Linlithgow to drive less and try cycling, walking and public transport instead. We recruited organisations to take part in promotional activities, from national charities such as Sustrans to local groups such as the Linlithgow Community Development Trust. We then talked one-to-one with businesses at the local Mill Road Business Park, to highlight the support available for companies that want to encourage cycling among their employees. We also managed a town centre information day with local partners, to talk directly to people in Linlithgow about the benefits and opportunities for cycling, walking and public transport in the area.
The Community Links Portfolio, Sustrans Scotland
The Community Links Portfolio showcases some of the most exciting and successful cycling and walking routes that Sustrans has created over the past five years. We were commissioned for graphic design of the entire Portfolio, from initial design concepts through to final publication in November 2016. We gave the Portfolio a bright, fresh look and feel, full of colourful photographs showing how people all over Scotland have benefitted from Sustrans work, from children using safe routes to school in rural Argyll to commuters on segregated cycle ways in the centre of Glasgow. We also used lots of lively quotes and big statistics to communicate the impact and support for Sustrans.
The Community Links Portfolio received very positive feedback from Sustrans and external organisations, fulfilling its purpose as a promotional item and advertisement for Sustrans’ work.
Why Fly?, East Coast
We worked with East Coast to promote trains over planes for business travel in Britain. Our On Track for Business report showed how Scottish businesses benefit financially by switching from air to rail on the Edinburgh to London route. It was as presented at a Parliamentary reception with MSPs and garnered significant political interest.
In partnership with East Coast we published a website including a rail vs. air video animation. East Coast used evidence from our research in their marketing campaigns to increase passenger numbers.
Infographics and branding, European Transport Safety Council
The European Transport Safety Council is a Brussels-based independent NGO dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe. We’ve done several pieces of work for the Council, to create a professionally-designed and branded suite of documents for use in their day-to-day work. This has included templates for presentations, invitations, reports and social media content. We’ve also created infographics to communicate the potential for new technologies to reduce pollution from cars and improve road safety.
So widespread is the work of Sustrans Scotland, that many people’s favourite memories of the country are thanks to its huge network of cycle paths, along with its advocacy for improved public transport. When they approached us to design their ambitious 3-year review, it marked the first time that such a publication had been commissioned by Sustrans Scotland.
What followed was a nationwide journey to document Sustrans’ work. From Fort William to Edinburgh, we talked to and photographed some of Scotland’s most inspiring leaders and advocates for Sustrans’ work. We wrote case studies showcasing how Sustrans had helped communities, schools, businesses and local authorities, and analysed monitoring and evaluation data to pull out key statistics to highlight Sustrans’ biggest impacts over the past three years.
As well as writing the report, we designed the look and layout of the final publication, prepared infographics which widely made rounds in social media as part of the lead-up campaign for the report’s release, and produced a ‘z-card’ summary of the report.
We also prepared the messaging around Sustrans’ impacts in multiple policy areas (e.g. transport, health, economy, climate change, place-making), and the great value that its work delivers.
Presented by Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and the Islands, at a launch event in Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth, the Three Year Review was enthusiastically received and has since helped to guide Sustrans Scotland’s vision for the future.
We have been working with tourism organisations and transport operators to promote Scotland as an attractive destination for visitors who can’t or don’t want to travel by car.
Through our car-free tourism website, we showed how easy it is to visit most of Scotland’s popular tourist attractions by foot, bike or public transport. We provided visitors with detailed but simple instructions on the nearest railway stations, local buses and hand-chosen walking and cycling routes, and provided all the information tourists require to travel to visitor attractions without spending time on lots of research or jumping between different travel-planning websites.
We also provided advice for tourism operators to encourage them to develop or improve sustainable travel options for visitors.
The launch of our Car-Free Tourism website generated TV and newspaper media coverage, and a Motion in the Scottish Parliament.
Edinburgh’s 20 mph Campaign, Living Streets
We helped Living Streets Scotland win support for their campaign to make 20mph the default speed limit across Edinburgh. We brought people together to demonstrate the widespread support that existed for 20mph and secured lots of positive media coverage. As a result, a vote to pass 20mph was made by the City of Edinburgh Council on 17 March 2015.
We created a campaign identity, infographics and illustrations, led a social media campaign which reached over 39,000 people, produced case studies from a wide variety of groups who would benefit from 20mph, and secured signatories for a joint letter that was published by The Daily Mail, The Scotsman, The Edinburgh Evening News and The Herald.
The next step is for 20mph to become the norm on residential streets across Scotland.
Interchange, Sustrans Scotland
We have led the way in Scotland to improve transport connections for people travelling without a car. Through our Interchange project, we audited the ease of combining cycling with public transport across Scotland. We created a tried and tested Interchange Toolkit, which we then used to audit facilities for cyclists at stations, bus and ferry terminals across the country, from Aberdeen to Mallaig and from Inverness to Glasgow. We made low-cost, practical recommendations on improvements to public transport interchanges which would make it easier for people to cycle, many of which were then taken up by transport managers. Our work culminated in a recommendation to the Scottish Government to create a network of active travel hubs, work which is now taking place through the Government’s Low Carbon Travel and Transport Fund.
The Railways Mean Business, Virgin Trains
We were commissioned by Virgin Trains to analyse the key benefits that rail provides to business travellers over air travel, and where service improvements could make rail even more competitive. As a result of our work Virgin implemented measures to improve services and facilities and changed the way they communicate business benefits to customers to show that The Railways Mean Business.
Developing Car Clubs in Scotland, Transform Scotland
Transform Scotland pioneered the way for expanding urban and rural car clubs to all parts of the country. We co-hosted a car club conference with The City of Edinburgh Council and through research showed the potential for Getting to 25,000 Car Club members by 2015 in Scotland. As a result the Scottish Government invested significant new funding to establish car clubs in rural Scotland.
Scottish Transport Monitoring, Transform Scotland
Our annual reports on the performance of Scottish society towards delivering sustainable transport have received extensive media coverage, generated debate in government and caught the attention of Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
We have defined a set of Scottish sustainable transport indicators, highlighted the Warning Signs in the overall progress of Scotland towards sustainable transport and examined whether public bodies are Doing their Duty to cut CO2 emissions from transport. Our work has persuaded the Government to take action to improve monitoring and evaluation of progress towards sustainable transport.
The Value of Cycle Tourism, Sustrans Scotland
Sustrans Scotland commissioned us to fully investigate and cost The Value of Cycle Tourism to the Scottish economy. Our research showed that cycling plays an important role in promoting Scotland as a visitor destination. We highlighted business opportunities for investment and expansion of the sector. Our research findings have been used by cycling and tourism organisations to provide evidence and make the case for investment and support for leisure cycling in Scotland.
Report design and print, Tactran
We’ve helped Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership (Tactran) to create a new visual identity for their publications. We designed their important Regional Transport Strategy and two annual reports.
Trams Back on Track, Transform Scotland
Transform Scotland played a key role in Edinburgh’s trams from inception to successful launch. In 2001, together with Passenger Focus, we organised the first ever international conference in Scotland on trams and two years later the Scottish Executive announced funding for the trams in Edinburgh. We submitted evidence papers to the Scottish Parliament, prepared briefing papers for MSPs and Councillors and bought business, retail, education, heritage, health, environment and transport organisations together in support of the project.
Scotland on the Move, Active Travel Alliance
We designed ‘Scotland on the Move’, a joint manifesto for active travel. We distilled the priorities of severn organisations – CTC Scotland, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans Scotland and Transform Scotland – into five simple demands, presenting a joint vision for the future of transport in Scotland in a simple and engaging format. The manifesto was very widely distributed across Scotland to a broad audience of political parties, local authorities, transport companies, local campaign groups and the wider public.