November 2019

Spokes Bulletin 135 – targets v. actions

The Scottish Government has set bold climate targets, but these must be matched by bold actions – particularly on transport, Scotland’s biggest emissions source.

The government has commissioned and published the independent Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy Review, chaired by Professor Campbell Gemmell. Its recommendations genuinely live up to the term ‘bold.’ For example, the following, for which Spokes has also argued…

  • Double the active travel budget again (to £160m a year)already doubled to £80m back in 2018 by then Transport Minister Humza Yousaf MSP
  • Cease trunk road expansion – though with some possible safety and rural exceptions
  • Replacement of polluting vehicles should include incentives to reduce car ownership (e.g. public transport season tickets, e-bike/cargobike incentives) – not an automatic assumption of replacing all fossil cars and vans by EVs.

However, the ‘Programme for Government’ doesn’t include any of these actions.

The Scottish Government now has the opportunity to rethink in its forthcoming budget. Will there be a ‘budget emergency’ to match the climate emergency, or will it be largely business as usual?

Our Winter 2019/20 Spokes Bulletin leads on this question and inside includes a full page on the climate emergency and some of the transport actions needed to enable Scotland to play its part.

The Bulletin is on its way to Spokes members, to 1200 decision-makers across Scotland* and to another 10,000+ interested people through bike shops, libraries and so on throughout Edinburgh, Lothian and beyond.
*including all 129 Scottish MSPs, all 132 Edinburgh+Lothians councillors, transport consultants, health officials, etc, etc.

Articles & pictures in B135, in addition to the above, include …

  • New cycling solutions for Edinburgh – secure bike storage, cargo bikes, cycle hire – the topic for our November 15 public meeting
  • Spokes 2019 competition – results, prizewinners and why Jeremy Vine should have entered!
  • City Centre Transformation – and how it relates to earlier Spokes ideas such as for Lothian Road, Forrest Road and the West End Junction
  • Roadworks & closures – there are good and bad examples in Edinbugh – a best practice factsheet is needed for developers and for council projects
  • School bike-buses – there are now 6 in Edinburgh!
  • HST trains, Glasgow/Edinburgh to Aberdeen/Inverness – 20 bike spaces were promised; a shocking 2 have been delivered – and even they are the difficult ‘hangers’ – and badly designed!
  • and in the printed Bulletin, a supplement, Inspired to Go By Bike – real life stories based on our 2019 competition – also available separately as a pdf here.
  • and if you are a Spokes member your mailing also includes …
    • How to use Edinburgh Cycle Hire – and the ebikes coming in the Spring
    • Competition entry form from Home Energy Scotland with prizes of e-bikes
    • An Edinburgh Bike Coop flyer with a kids bikes Christmas offer was accidentally omitted so was emailed to members here.

You can find pdfs of this and earlier Bulletins on our Spokes Bulletin page.


  • Please retweet  our tweets about the new Bulletin and the Public Meeting.
  • Having more members helps us – and we hope to help you in return by keeping you in touch with what’s happening and what you can do about it!  You’ll get a roughly-monthly email in addition to the thrice-yearly Bulletin.
  • We have spares of the new Bulletin for bike leafleting at workplaces, shops etc – let us know if you could use a supply.    Many Spokes members take a regular supply of each issue for their local workplace, shops or other useful destinations.  We also have plenty spares of the public meeting poster.

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