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election season is upon us
Director's note
In his ‘Director’s Notes’ for the March 2021 newsletter, Transform director Colin Howden attempts to keep up.

Is there an election or something happening?

Yes, the blizzard of announcements over the past few weeks signifies the rush to get things finished up prior to closure of the fifth Session of the Scottish Parliament (which ended its five-year stint on Wednesday), and in anticipation of today’s commencement of the election campaign proper.

I hope you’re all keeping up. I’m not sure I am, but here are some of the more prominent things I’ve spotted...
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Action Alerts
City of edinburgh council
George Street 2025: Consultation
Deadline: Friday 26 March
More info
Transport scotland
STPR2 Update and Phase 1 Recommendations Deadline: Wednesday 31 March
more info
Scottish government 
Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change
 Deadline: Wednesday 31 March
More info
City of edinburgh council
Spaces for People: Consultation
Deadline: Monday 5 April

more info
Cycling uk
Scottish Election 2021: Tell politicians that cycling is for everyone
Deadline: Monday 6 May
More info
UK department for transport
Consultation on aviation tax reform
Deadline: Monday 14 June
more info
For our next event, we welcome Sarah Boyack MSP from the Scottish Labour Party. Sarah is the former Minister for Transport and Planning and currently is a member of the Cross Party Group on Cycling, Walking, and Buses, as well as that on Rail.

This event is open to the public and free to attend.

13:00 - 14:00 on Friday 26 March
sign up

Transport conversations with the green party 
The fourth event in our series will be held on Friday 9 April when we welcome Alison Johnstone MSP, the Scottish Green Party's Spokesperson for Health & Sport, Children & Young People, and Social Security.

Again, this event is open to the public and free to attend.
register here
transport conversation with the scottish national party
The fifth and final event in our series will be held on Friday 23 April when we welcome Michael Matheson MSP, the current Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
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Campaigns update
In February, our Communications Officer Matt McDonald left the Transform team and has now started with the Scottish Youth Parliament. We wish him all the best in his new role!

To replace Matt, we welcome on board Rachel McFarlane, who previously volunteered with Transform and is excited to take on this new role.

Here is Rachel’s report on our recent activities.  

‘Moving the Vote: Transport Conversations with the parties’

Since our last newsletter, we have held our first two ‘Moving the Vote: Transport Conversations with the parties’ events.

On 15 February we welcomed Graham Simpson MSP, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity from the Scottish Conservatives.
Graham gave an outline of his party’s proposals for active travel, before the discussion moved on to priorities for road and rail spending on intercity routes. Delegates expressed disappointment that while Graham supported new road building he appeared somewhat under-briefed on the need for investment in our railways.

On 11 March Carole Ford from the Scottish Liberal Democrats joined us to share her party’s ideas on what Scottish transport could look like under Lib Dem leadership.
Carole summarised her party’s four priorities for transport under the headings of climate emergency, passenger experience, economic impact and social equity. Whilst delegates were again disappointed to hear more support for road building, there was common ground on other issues such as the importance of safety and public transport - particularly for women - in light of recent events down South.
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Publications and News
Objection to Edinburgh Airport access road proposal
We objected to the Edinburgh Airport access road proposal on two fronts. 1. The proposal is contrary to the relevant national, regional and local policy; 2. It's justifications are unsubstantiated.
More info
Moving the Vote: Carole Ford outlines the Liberal Democrats’ vision for sustainable transport
We were excited to welcome Carole Ford, the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity to our second 'Moving the Vote'  event.
more info
Union Connectivity Review fails to take serious approach to Climate Emergency
Transform issued its initial views on the interim report of the Union Connectivity Review.
More info
Climate Plan scrutiny failure to tackle high-carbon bias in transport investment 
We issued a parliamentary briefing ahead of the debate on scrutiny of the Climate Change Plan. 
more info
Transform's director Colin Howden commented on the UK budget announced in February 2021.

More info
Moving the vote: Graham Simpson outlines the Conservatives’ vision for sustainable transport
We were delighted to welcome Graham Simpson MSP to our first 'Moving the Vote' event. 
more info
Member profile
In each newsletter we highlight the work of one of our members.

Since 2005, ScotRail has been partnering with community groups and charities all over Scotland to rejuvenate and transform many of our railway stations. There are more than 1200 volunteers contributing to their local communities in a variety of different activities and projects – from community classes to station adopters. Our ‘adopt a station’ volunteering programme has seen over 260 stations get a makeover and reclaim their traditional role as a centre point of the community and a source of real local pride.

One of our partners, Phoenix Futures Scotland, who deliver drug and alcohol recovery services, is involved in eight station regeneration projects across the country. In 2020, just before the first national lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Phoenix’s Scottish Residential Service ‘adopted’ Anniesland station in the north of Glasgow, in order to refashion Anniesland’s garden area. It’s an ambitious project made all the more challenging due to COVID-19 restrictions, which meant the volunteers were unable to visit the station between March and September. However, plans were laid, seeds and bulbs were grown and when the rules were relaxed in September, the work began. 
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