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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.

We have a regular email newsletter, keeping you up to date with all the latest news from Transform Scotland. Please email us to be added to the subscription list.

Tom Hart reports on recent transport issues

24 February 2016

Tom Hart reports: Wider Issues Energy economist Tony Mackay has criticised the Scottish Government for inadequate progress towards delivery of green energy.  As well as more emphasis on energy conservation and biofuels, he seeks more action to reduce transport energy demand, including better public transport (H 8 Dec).  Others fear that failure to expand storage…

Transform Platform for the SNP confirmed

17 February 2016

This week we are pleased to announce the fourth in our Transform Platform election event series, Transform Platform for the SNP. Following the success of our first event in January, Transform Platform for Labour, we are looking forward to hearing proposals from the rest of the main political parties in Scotland. We already have our next events confirmed:…

Report on ‘Transform Platform for Labour’

11 February 2016

The first of Transform Scotland’s election events was held on Thursday 28 January, and featured David Stewart MSP for Scottish Labour. Over sixty people attended the event at Edinburgh City Chambers to hear what Labour are envisioning for sustainable transport in Scotland. John Webster reports. The event was hosted by Cllr Andrew Burns, Leader of…

Reinstatement of Edinburgh South Suburban Railway

03 February 2016

The Capital Rail Action Group and Transform Scotland have written a parliamentary briefing supporting the the Members’ Business debate: Reinstatement of the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway. Lawrence Marshall said: “Local passenger services on the South Suburban railway line have been absent for over 50 years now. It’s time for our nation’s capital city to join…

Forth Road Bridge closure illustrates folly of removal of local accountability

29 January 2016

Transform Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee inquiry into the December 2015 closure of the Forth Road Bridge. Our evidence paper was prepared by our board member Lawrence Marshall, who was chair of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) from 2004-06 (that is, prior to the decision…

What We Want For Scottish Transport

28 January 2016

We are pleased to launch our manifesto setting out our vision of a more sensible transport system for Scotland: For pedestrians and cyclists For public transport passengers For road users We have identified a set of simple measures that outline solutions to some of Scottish transport’s key problems. We feel that all of Scotland’s political…

Parties outline vision for the future of sustainable transport in Scotland

27 January 2016

NEWS RELEASE For immediate use: Wednesday 27 January 2016 ‘Transform Platform’ election series: Parties outline vision for the future of sustainable transport in Scotland Transform Scotland [1] is tomorrow (Thursday 28th) holding the first of its ‘Transform Platform’ election events in the run-up to the Holyrood elections in May. The series of events will provide…

Scottish Budget: Spokes’ cycle plan a practical proposal for John Swinney

26 January 2016

Transform Scotland are happy to support the proposal put forward by Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign, for 1% of the trunk roads budget to be switched into active travel spend in the final version of the Scottish Government’s budget for 2016-17. As we said in our response to the mid-December Budget announcement, sustainable transport had…

Members’ views wanted on Network Rail Route Survey

26 January 2016

We’re looking for the views of Transform’s members and supporters for our response to Network Rail Scotland’s Route Survey. NRS are consulting on the plans until 10 March. As this has long-term implications for the railway in Scotland and how it might develop over the next 30 or so years we agreed that it would…

Strategic freight network need to transform rail freight in Scotland

22 January 2016

Transform Scotland has submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on rail freight strategy, ‘Delivering the Goods’. Commenting on our response, Paul Tetlaw said: “A strategic freight network for Scotland should be defined and the creation of the necessary infrastructure should then become a key Government priority. The ongoing Network Rail Route Study for…

Lack of progress on key trends shows “wasted decade” on Scottish transport policy

21 January 2016

Transform Scotland NEWS RELEASE Embargoed for use: 10:00, Thursday 21 January 2016 Scottish Government National Transport Strategy announcement: Lack of progress on key trends shows “wasted decade” on Scottish transport policy Transform Scotland [1] today (Thurs 21st) responded to the Scottish Government’s launch of the revised National Transport Strategy (a ‘refresh’ of the strategy first…

Lords set poor example in travel to London

20 January 2016

Scottish Lords spent over £280,000 on air travel expenses over the course of one year, a recent investigative report has found. The investigation, carried out by The Ferret, found that some Scottish Lords were spending more than £20,000 a year on travel between Scotland and London. The revelations are all the more shocking given that two…

Enlightened decisions needed for future Highlands rail capacity

13 January 2016

We’ve had an interesting response from cabinet secretary Keith Brown MSP to a letter sent in December by our director Colin Howden. Commenting on the letter, Colin Howden said: “In the letter, Mr Brown makes the welcome response that Transport Scotland continue to monitor the performance of the Borders Railway. It is well known that…

Opportunities for extending the Scottish rail network

04 January 2016

Tom Hart, a former Transform Scotland board member, has today published a discussion paper entitled ‘SCOTLAND 2020-2040: Opportunities for Rail Network Extensions’. The paper is being released as a contribution to the debate on transport prior to the Scottish Parliament election and subsequent official publications on a revised Transport and Access Strategy and related changes…

Scottish Budget: Public transport loses out to more spending on new roads

16 December 2015

NEWS RELEASE Wednesday 16 December 2015 Scottish Budget: Public transport loses out to more spending on new roads   Transform Scotland [1] today (Weds 16-Dec) criticised the Scottish Government’s draft budget as a backwards step in delivering sustainable transport. Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said: “The budget delivers a massive hike in spending on…

Forth Road Bridge closure: Transport Groups call for Greater Investment in Public Transport

14 December 2015

Scottish Association for Public Transport & Transform Scotland NEWS RELEASE Monday 14 December 2015 FORTH ROAD BRIDGE CLOSURE: Transport Groups call for Greater Investment in Public Transport The Scottish Association for Public Transport (SAPT) and Transform Scotland have today (Monday 14 Dec) called on the Government to ensure that future transport policy prioritises investment in…

Scottish Ministers must match climate rhetoric with spending priorities

11 December 2015

Transform Scotland have responded to the Committee on Climate Change’s call for evidence on the Scottish annual targets on climate change. John Webster, author of Transform Scotland’s response, said: “Transport is an area where a major impact could be made in reducing GHG emissions by investment in active travel within our major cities and by…

Dundee Cycling Strategy consultation

10 December 2015

Transform Scotland has published its response to Dundee City Council’s consultation on its Cycling Strategy. The response is available for download.

TransPennine franchise award welcomed

09 December 2015

The winner of the TransPennine Express franchise has been announced as First Group – they will operate the new franchise alone – not in partnership with Keolis as was the case for the previous franchise. The franchise will run from April 2016 to March 2023. We will be looking into the details of the new…

Bruce Whyte highlights trends and challenges in active travel

09 December 2015

At the last Transform Members’ Session on 3 December we were pleased to be joined by Bruce Whyte from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Bruce presented an interesting talk on recent and historic trends of active travel in Scotland and highlighted some of the recent work undertaken by GCPH on sustainable transport. Thank you…

Saving the North Berwick Line

08 December 2015

Paul Tetlaw reports on a Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) meeting held in Edinburgh on 1 December 2015: The speaker at the CRAG meeting on 1 December 2015 was Norman Hall from North Berwick and he related his role in the campaign to save the line from closure. These are my notes on his presentation…

Bridge closure an opportunity to cut Forth road traffic long-term

04 December 2015

Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, responds to the Forth Road Bridge closure announced today. “It’s very welcome that the Government is now encouraging people to look at car sharing and public transport alternatives for trips across the Forth. But why has it taken this unexpected closure of the Forth Road Bridge to get Scottish…

Government needs to integrate strategic transport and land use planning

02 December 2015

Transform Scotland have responded to the Scottish Government’s review of the planning system. In our response we call for greater integration between land use planning and transport planning. Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said: “It is impossible to expect good integration between development planning for the cities with transport planning for these same areas…

Inverkeithing to Perth rail route safeguarded

26 November 2015

Transform Scotland’s Inter-City Express Campaign aims to see investment in the railway between the Central Belt of Scotland and Inverness brought up to the level being spent on roads (£6bn on the A9 and A96 upgrades). We are looking for a major investment programme to bring the railway up to 21st century standard by dualling…

Transform Scotland newsletter, November 2015

25 November 2015

*|MC:SUBJECT|* Transform Platform for Labour We are hosting a series of election events in the New Year. The first event on 28 January will hear from David Stewart MSP, Scottish Labour Party, about their plan for sustainable transport if elected. Further events to be announced. National Transport Strategy Debate With the “refresh” of the NTS,…