Nice strategy but where's the action?

Sustrans challenges government's Carbon Reduction Strategy

by Tom Henry   July 15, 2009  

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The Government's Carbon Reduction Strategy for Transport announced today is undermined by a lack of investment that would enable people to make local, low-carbon travel choices.

That is the view of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, who say that the strategy alone will not help the UK hit its target of a 34 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

Today's strategy places the emphasis on technology to deliver cuts in transport emissions.

But, Sustrans warns that relying on technology rather than providing the opportunity for people to change to low-carbon means of travel will not produce the dramatic results that are needed, and the benefits they do bring will not take effect quickly enough.

Jason Torrance, Sustrans' Policy Manager, said: “While we welcome the low carbon strategy for transport the simple reality is that transport emissions are increasing because, on the ground, schemes that generate carbon are being given the go-ahead.

“Government at all levels must provide the conditions for people to make those 1 in 4 journeys that are under a mile in alternative low-carbon ways - by walking, cycling, or using public transport - and in ways that address the growing health problems of a nation of people that travel a great deal without actually moving very much.”

Sustrans has suggested alternatives for reducing transport emissions, including better investment in routes that support walking and cycling.

The potential carbon saving of all of the 400 million journeys made on the National Cycle Network during 2008 was almost half a million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 218,000 cars off the road.

Jason continued: “Simple, affordable solutions to cutting the UK's transport emissions already exist.

“Given the right incentives, some decent information and an environment that encourages walking and cycling, people are willing to leave their cars at home.

“Indeed, our research shows that up to 94 per cent of people are in favour of transport policies that support walking, cycling and local public transport.”