A Transport Decarbonisation Strategy for the North of England – outlining the target of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045 – has been launched today [08 December] by Transport for the North (TfN).
It is the first time a regional strategy of this type has been produced, bringing together the region’s leaders to plan how the transport sector can address the climate challenge.
Martin Tugwell, chief executive at Transport for the North, said: “Tackling the climate emergency is a critical challenge, and the North of England has an important role to play. As outlined in our Transport Decarbonisation Strategy and highlighted by our members, we believe our region can, and must, take clear and comprehensive action to decarbonise surface transport over the coming years.
“Our regional strategy shows how the North of England can lead the UK in decarbonising our transport system, and we will now take forward those activities at pace and ensure decarbonisation goals underpin all our work. This will embed sustainability within all transport projects and improvements, helping us build a greener North of England.”
The strategy, which was approved by TfN’s board on 24 November, features four priority activities. This includes rail electrification; improving public transport, including Northern Powerhouse Rail; developing a zero-emission vehicle charging infrastructure framework; and developing a regional route map for transport decarbonisation.
The wider action plan within the strategy covers:
- Encouraging modal shift towards more sustainable ways of travelling, such as public transport and active travel
- 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
- Opportunities for decarbonisation in the freight industry
- Reducing the embodied carbon within new transport infrastructure development
Cllr Louise Gittins, interim chair of Transport for the North and leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: “Our vision is to see a system where every person and business has access to high quality, accessible and affordable zero carbon transport. Transport plays a huge role in our daily lives, and we are committed to creating a system that provides high quality mobility solutions and addresses long-standing barriers to accessibility.”