A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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MPs voice transport sustainability concerns

Added on 01 September 2016

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has told the Department for Transport to assess the cumulative impact of its projects on sustainability and deal with its failure to hit decarbonisation targets, but evaded calling for a halt to major highway and airport expansion.

The Committee’s report Sustainability in the Department for Transport says the DfT needs to work on communicating its sustainability remit. A great deal of the report is dedicated to the so-called “ultra-low emission vehicles” and car manufacturers’ cheat devices, diluting the impact of its messages on carbon emissions.

“Committee on Climate Change advice on the lowest-cost pathway to the UK’s 2050 emissions reduction target included an interim 2025 decarbonisation objective, which the transport sector is projected to miss by almost 50%,” says the report. “Transport is now the largest emitting sector; emissions have increased for the past two years running. We recommend the Department set out in the Government’s forthcoming carbon reduction plan how it intends to deal with this shortfall in decarbonisation.”

The MPs, however, have little to say on how it might meet the very unambitious CCC target for transport which is a 31% reduction on 2014 emissions. But they do note energy use per tonne of road freight has actually increased and suggest domestic transport now accounts for 24% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and rising.

“The report shows that the Government is not doing enough to decarbonise transport and avoid building damaging infrastructure projects,” said Campaign for Better Transport sustainable transport campaigner Bridget Fox. “Stronger action to clean up polluting vehicles is welcome but ultimately the answer lies in reducing car dependency, getting more freight onto rail and investing in good quality public transport alternatives.”

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