Warning SignsTransform Scotland

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executive summary

Our research showed that the Scottish Government must improve its environmental monitoring system, and that the public sector must take much stronger action to reduce its own CO2 emissions from transport.


Transform Scotland wanted the Scottish Government to improve the way it monitored and evaluated progress towards sustainable transport. They felt that the Government was not doing enough to identify and address serious challenges that were standing in the way of progress towards greener, healthier travel.


Our report, ‘Warning Signs — Is Scotland Moving Towards Sustainable Transport?’, set out the challenges faced by the Scottish Government in turning around the situation on transport in Scotland. Amongst other things, the report outlined a set of recommendations on investment requirements that could be tackled by the Scottish Government, and suggested priorities for action. We also identified a set of progress indicators against which to assess whether Scotland was making progress.

We followed ‘Warning Signs’ with a second report that examined whether public bodies were ‘Doing their Duty’ to cut CO2 emissions from transport. We found that over 60% of Scotland’s main public sector bodies had no plans in place to reduce their use of transport. The public bodies also remained massively dependent on air travel for trips from the Scottish Central Belt to London. There was however some evidence of vehicle purchasing moving towards low-emission vehicles. We then identified a number of good practice examples to which the under-performing should aspire.


Our reports received extensive media coverage, generated debate in government and caught the attention of Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

As a result, the Scottish Government was persuaded to take action to improve monitoring and evaluation of progress towards sustainable transport.


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