Transport for the North (TfN) has released its draft decarbonisation strategy for the North of England, which sets out its ambitious target of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045, and is asking for comment from the public in a consultation which commenced on Monday 7 June 2021.
TfN is urging people and businesses from across the North are urged to have their say on the plan, with consultation open until 31 August 2021.
The strategy sets out why a regional near-zero carbon surface transport network must be achieved to help address climate change. It highlights the ambitions of the North of England in tackling carbon emissions, with the region aiming to go beyond national policy and meet targets much sooner.
It also demonstrates the importance of maximising clean growth opportunities; the need to ensure decarbonisation is at the heart of transport-related policy and investment decisions; and why coordination at a regional level will provide the best outcomes.
Among the potential actions and areas of focus the strategy considers are:
- Zero emission vehicles, including cars, HGVs and buses, with a comprehensive network of charging facilities to support their wider use;
- The decarbonisation of the rail network through electrification;
- The use of hydrogen and alternative fuel vehicles;
- Encouraging modal shift towards more sustainable ways of travelling, such as public transport and active travel;
- Opportunities for decarbonisation in the freight industry;
- Carbon reduction when projects are built, as well as carbon capture;
- How Transport for the North’s four Future Travel Scenarios could present challenges and opportunities for decarbonising transport.
The final decarbonisation strategy will be adopted by the TfN Board this autumn and submitted to the government as statutory advice on behalf of the region. It will form the blueprint for green transport investment in the North for the coming decades.
Tim Wood, interim chief executive of Transport for the North, said: “Reducing carbon across our region’s transport network is an essential part of tackling the climate emergency – one of the greatest challenges of our time. We’re thrilled to be consulting a strategy for the whole region that outlines how rapid progress can be made and how the North can lead the UK in slashing carbon emissions.
“Surface transport is the largest contributing sector to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, accounting for 22% of all emissions in 2019. The majority of this is from road transport, so there is a clear and urgent need to decarbonise our vehicles and roads over the coming years. But we must also take action on our rail network, with a rolling programme of electrification, and encourage a shift to more sustainable forms of transport and construction practices too.
“Our Decarbonisation Strategy is a vital piece of work in moving the North of England towards the ambitious goal of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045. Using data and insights, alongside predictions and modelling analysis, the strategy sets out the challenges and opportunities ahead, providing a clear trajectory that will not only lower emissions, but also enhance connectivity for our region’s people and businesses.
“We urge everyone to get involved in this vital work and provide their views to the consultation, helping to shape future transport networks that are not only efficient and reliable, but are sustainable too.”
This is believed to be the first time a regional strategy of this type has been produced, bringing together the region’s leaders to speak out with one voice on the climate emergency.
The consultation opens on Monday 7 June 2021 and closes at 12:00 on Tuesday 31 August 2021.