In its submission to the Government’s consultation on Environmental Targets, the Sustainable Transport Alliance makes the case for modal shift:
“If Net Zero is to be achieved and air quality improved, it is paramount we shift journeys away from private cars, and onto public, shared and active travel. We have increasing evidence from transport academics and experts that car mileage must be reduced by at least 20-27% by 2030 to stay within our carbon budgets and deliver wide-ranging social and environmental co-benefits.
“Shifting to electric vehicles will not get us far enough and fast enough from a decarbonisation perspective, and EVs also donâ€™t address local environmental problems around particulate pollution from brakes and tyres, traffic congestion, road danger and disturbance, and inequitable and inefficient use of public space. Nor is a heavy focus on EVs an inclusive pathway for decarbonisation.
“We support a stronger focus on modal shift, and the development and prioritisation of public, shared and active travel, as a powerful means to achieving net zero, local environmental improvements, and Levelling Up ambitions, simultaneously.”
The group recommends:
- stronger ambitions and targets for tackling air pollution than are currently proposed in the consultation, and specific attention to the role of transport, modal shift, and private car reduction in achieving these
- targets are put in place with the DfT, starting with a mileage reduction commitment for private cars (as has been adopted by governments of New Zealand and Scotland), given their major contribution to air pollution alongside other environmental issues, and complementing the DfTâ€™s policy objective to â€˜accelerate modal shiftâ€™ to decarbonise transport
- close cross-departmental working, including with those leading on the Department for Transportâ€™s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and DLUHC, to ensure joined up thinking and action, and to identify where more work and support is required, particularly support for local leaders and communities wanting to contribute to positive change on sustainable transport, air quality, climate action, and other environmental objectives such as waste reduction and biodiversity.
Read the consultation submission in full: