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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.

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,…

Transform Platform for Labour

25 November 2015

We’re excited to announce the first of our series of election events! In advance of the Scottish Parliament Elections, we are hosting a series of events, providing our members and the wider transport sector with the opportunity to engage with representatives of the five main political parties in Scotland. These events will take place in both Edinburgh…

Alliance of business & transport interests call for Edinburgh Tram to be built to Leith

18 November 2015

SCDI & Transform Scotland NEWS RELEASE Wednesday 18 November 2015 EDINBURGH TRAM SCHEME: Alliance of business & transport interests call for Councillors to complete route to Leith SCDI & Transform Scotland have today (Tuesday 17 Nov) called for Edinburgh Councillors to vote to complete the tram route to Leith and Newhaven as a springboard for…

Risks and impacts of air pollution highlighted in Parliament

17 November 2015

Ahead of a debate on air quality brought forward by Labour in the Scottish Parliament, Transform Scotland has contributed to a parliamentary briefing on air pollution in Scotland. The briefing, published by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, British Heart Foundation Scotland and Transform Scotland, will inform MSPs on the risks and impacts of air pollution and offer…

Tom Hart’s transport news notes, 15 November 2015

15 November 2015

MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS The media has given increased attention to the urgency for action to tackle global warming given evidence of a 1C rise in global temperatures, half way to the tipping point of 2C rises which could have very serious implications for rising sea levels, floods, droughts and high winds which could prejudice food supply…

New Research Manager Joins Transform

11 November 2015

Michelle Brophy has joined Transform Scotland after the departure of Jolin Warren as our Research Manager. Michelle manages research tasks for Transform Scotland. Currently she is undertaking specific research projects around buses and cycling. She has worked in Transportation for the last ten years and it has been the focal point for her career. She…

Levenmouth top rail reopening priority for Scotland

11 November 2015

Transform Scotland are very happy to publish the presentation made by Allen Armstrong, secretary of Levenmouth Rail Campaign (LMRC), to our Members’ Session held on 6 November. Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said: “Levenmouth is the overwhelming priority for rail reopening in Scotland over the next few years. It’s desperate that the 37,000 residents…

Continued poor air quality demonstrates lack of Ministerial leadership

05 November 2015

Transform Scotland have today slammed the UK Government’s air quality plans as reliant on “technical fixes and bland statements about cycling” and the “serious absence of leadership” by Scottish and UK Ministers. In our response to the Scottish Government ‘Consultation on Air Quality Plans to Meet EU Limit Values for Nitrogen Dioxide (No2) in Scotland’,…

A9 dualling will make Perth-Inverness rail slower than road

05 November 2015

Transport Scotland have this morning confirmed to us that the proposed A9 dualling between Perth and Inverness will condemn the parallel railway to being slower than the road route. Here’s the response received from Transport Scotland regarding A9 journey times pre- and post-dualling: At time of writing, National Rail Enquiries suggests that the fastest journey…

Social Enterprise Successes

04 November 2015

Both of our social enterprises, TRAC and Transform Creative, have been very busy. The Sustrans 3-Year Report was a joint venture between TRAC and Transform Creative. TRAC prepared a series of case studies showing Sustrans’ work with schools, with communities, at workplaces, and with its many partner organisations. TRAC also prepared the messaging around Sustrans’ impacts in…

Presentations made to CPT and SSN conferences

03 November 2015

A busy day for our chair Phil Matthews and director Colin Howden, making presentations to the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) and Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) conferences, respectively. The presentations are available to download on right.

Edinburgh Trams – Building on success

02 November 2015

SCDI and Transform Scotland have issued a joint briefing to elected members at The City of Edinburgh Council ahead of a council debate later this month on the future of the Edinburgh Tram scheme. The briefing is available for download.