Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has announced government plans to improve the green credentials of the UK’s transport networks. Through the introduction of a number of new ambitious schemes, it is hoped that the carbon emissions caused by transportation within the UK can be significantly reduced.
Transport is currently responsible for causing 21% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, and as a result, Lord Adonis has identified this as a key area for helping Britain meet its targets for cutting emissions by 80% by 2050. The government will achieve this by investing in public transport, such as improving train services and further electrification of the rail network, investing in low carbon vehicles and, something which Adonis says is close to his own heart, ensuring a greater provision of bicycle storage facilities at railway stations to encourage greater transport integration through a promise of £5 million worth of investment.
“If more people make more use of public transport, there could be less congestion on our roads and less pollution in our atmosphere. We are therefore determined to make public transport a far more attractive choice.”
Although there will be focus on improving and greening the public transport networks, including investment in buses that emit less greenhouse gases and pollution, there are a number of actions the government is planning to take in order to address the carbon emissions generated by vehicles. To assess how to reduce carbon emissions from the logistics industry, a steering group will be set up in addition to teaming up with European partners to monitor the van industry and provide low carbon solutions for the van market. For car owners, a £250 million customer incentive scheme has been set up and will run from 2011, enabling people to choose electric and low carbon cars.
Although investment in public transport from the government is key to getting people on buses, trains and bikes, Lord Adonis acknowledges that public transport isn’t the answer in every situation.
“Public transport may not always be as convenient as the car, and for other journeys walking and cycling will sometimes be impractical. Our aim is to ensure that people with access to a car have better information on more efficient use. We are promoting eco-driving techniques to new and existing drivers by integrating eco-driving into the new driving test and working with the Energy Saving Trust to promote eco-driving techniques to existing drivers.”