Good thread and it's well worth reading the paper (it's linked in the last post).

Some of my own comments in this thread
First, it's really good to see that the paper has either adopted the policies of or has come to the same conclusion as @Common_Weal's paper on rail nationalisation.

If we don't own all parts of the network, we can't strategically plan for it.…
Excellent to see the plan include measures of how we get to the stations too. That has been too often omitted from previous attempts to do this kind of thing.
Also good to see some thought on intra-city travel as well as inter-city (again, something too often omitted) though I'll come back to that point.
And any plan that moves us away from cars being the default mode of travel is an improvement.
I do have a few critiques or areas identified for further work.
First, when it comes to commuting, we're yet to see the long term impact of Covid. Perhaps the default method of travel there should be to not travel. If home working (or local remote office hubs) becomes the permanent norm for many, demand on transit could stay low.
We shouldn't forget the busses too. Whilst CW hasn't yet gotten round to it, our plan for the rail paper was to follow it up with an integrated transport plan across all public transport methods.
Start with a universal payment card that gives access whatever the method (I believe this is already Green policy?) and then nationalise the bus networks and integrate them into transport ministry. Then the taxis too (especially if the alternative means robot-Uber).
I'm less enthused about TramTrains linking the rail network to the intra-city road network. Yes, it avoids overhead lines, but they are less disruptive to install than ground level tracks.
I'd probably prefer hybrid trolleybuses. Running on panto for most of the day but able to leave it and run on battery for low demand routes or to re-route around blockages.
And an electric or hydrogen bus can, of course, go wherever the roads already are so should be kept in mind for their place in this plan too.
This is why I like an integrated transport strategy. Different routes will suit different methods and, yes, while it's fine to weigh along a pyramid of priorities, as a passenger I ultimately only want to get from A to B in time. I'm a little more neutral on method.
I'm glad that the paper does mention those points on integrated transport and through-ticketing, but it could use a little more emphasis.
On those tracks, be mindful of the whole-of-life carbon footprint of the plan. Conventional steel is costly in that respect. Hydrogen-coked steel now exists but we need to invest and develop Scotland's sector. We'll need it anyway for the rest of the GND.…
And be wary of putting more passenger trains on freight lines. As passenger trains run faster than freight and commuters complain when they stop, the freight needs to stop to let passengers pass. Too many passenger trains and the freight train can't reach the next passing place.
Overall though, excellent work here. Certainly a lot better than previous transport strategies which have boiled down to "Let's build more traffic jams". Go and read the paper.

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More from @thecommongreen

13 Jan
Great to see this out. Go and give it a read!
We spoke about the Citizens' Assembly and one of their most exciting plans on the Policy Podcast in November.…
Go and read their reports at
Read 18 tweets
11 Jan
.@scotgov's target for retrofitting houses up to GND standard is to increase the rate of retrofits up to 64,000 per year by 2025.

To retrofit all existing houses (never mind other buildings) before 2045, we need to retrofit more than 100,000 per year, starting from 2021.
It gets worse. In 2018/19, Scotland built around 22,000 new houses - almost all of which do not meet GND standards and will need to be retrofitted before 2045.… Image
The current Scottish Government target of 64k retrofits/year would therefore means over a third of that target being consumed by new builds that we knew at point of construction wouldn't meet the standards required by 2045.
Read 7 tweets
22 Aug 20
One of my political dreams for Scotland is a National Policy Academy (See… pg 29)
Here too there is, too often, a dearth in thinking about polices, their implementation and their consequences. Too often announcements are about chasing tomorrow's great headline or salving yesterday's bad one. Soundbite over substance.
Too many in Scotland almost rejoice at the lack of effective Opposition in Scottish politics. I don't.

Because a Government never needs to be the best it can be. Merely be one vote better than the Opposition come election time.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul 20
Yesterday on the "UK Internal Market" debate Alister Jack said something quite interesting.… Alister Jack - "Were it ever to come to pass that a fut
On the face of it, this is supposed to be reassuring but I don't think folk on either side of the constitutional debate will find it so if they stop to think about it.
On one hand, we on the pro-independence side know that this promise is absolutely meaningless and has been ever since the Supreme Court upheld the UK Government's right to ignore and overrule legislative consent motions at its whim.…
Read 9 tweets
13 Jul 20
So is anyone else going to chat about the First Minster declaring yesterday on #Marr that independence is off until the "economic legacy" of Covid has been cleared?
(I know @CraigMurrayOrg has).

See from 10:09 onwards - esp 11.30.
I mean, in national budget terms (if not inequality and other harmful impacts), the legacy of the 2008 Financial Crisis ended in 2017, just after the impact of Brexit began which itself hadn't ended before the Covid crisis began and there's a Climate crisis about decade away...
I agree that the acute crisis does demand response right now - even though an Autumn indy referendum was looking unlikely before the pandemic, the pandemic has quashed it.…
Read 11 tweets
9 Jul 20
Sometimes you don't realise how much work your org has done until you go and actually look at it.

I was just asked to prepare a list of "everything @Common_Weal has published on housing".

We're not even a dedicated housing think-tank!

Thread. 1/
Good Houses for All -…
A proposal to use SNIB to fund social housing via long term bonds. Such housing would be built to passive energy standards, would require zero public subsidy and would cut the cost to buy, maintain and heat a house by around 40%. 2/
Housing 2040 Response -…
Our response to the Housing 2040 Consultation which particularly calls for housebuilding strategy to be based on wellbeing metrics over metrics such as GDP stimulus. 3/
Read 15 tweets

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