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Transport Decarbonisation Plan to aid shift from fleet to mobility

Fleets and drivers will be able in future to access a ‘universally recognised measure’ enabling them to easily compare how much CO2 different forms of transport emit over a certain distance.

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan is due to be published in autumn 2020

The new tool forms one of the elements of the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP), which is due later this year and will place focus on both zero-emission transport and prioritising public transport/active travel in a “coordinated, cross-modal approach”.

In a document outlining the next steps for the work, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acknowledged how transport has a huge role to play in the economy reaching net zero.

He added: “The scale of the challenge demands a step change in both the breadth and scale of ambition and we have a duty to act quickly and decisively to reduce emissions.”

As well as looking at decarbonisation of road vehicles – including supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles through regulation, vehicle supply and refuelling and recharging infrastructure – the plan will prioritise accelerating the modal shift to public and active transport.

This includes through a coherent, convenient and cost-effective public network.

It will also explore decarbonising how we get our goods, taking in changing consumer behaviour and transforming ‘last-mile’ deliveries through an integrated clean and sustainable delivery system.

The plan will also consider place-based solutions, considering how and why emissions are highest in specific location and exploring a multi-modal approach where needed.

The plan will take in feedback from individuals, businesses, trade associations, local authorities, scientists, researchers, innovators, interest groups and environmental groups, including through a series of events and workshops and opportunities.

The document, published last week, also refers to the UN’s annual climate change conference COP26, which was due to take place in Glasgow this November but has now been postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic

The publication of the next steps on the plan was welcomed by international non-profit The Climate Group, which said it was positive signal that this Government remains committed to pushing ahead with critical climate policy even in these challenging times.

Sandra Roling, head of the group’s EV100 initiative, said: “This is a comprehensive plan rightly covering all areas of transport and with ambition firmly set on net-zero emissions. Companies in our EV100 initiative, from AstraZeneca to Zenith, are committing to electrify their vehicle fleets by 2030. Government must work hand in hand with business to enable a faster roll out of EVs, and coupled with that, an earlier phase out of diesel and petrol vehicles. We will be engaging businesses across the UK to ensure the private sector is able to maximise its role in driving forward the rapid electrification of road transport in the UK.”

Road safety charity Brake, meanwhile, welcomed the acknowledgement of the importance of active travel and public transport.

Director of campaigns Joshua Harris said: “Everyone should be able to move in safe and healthy ways and it’s heartening to hear of the Government’s step change focusing on reducing car use – it has great potential to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths on our roads, as well as improve people’s health. We now need to see greater investment in active travel, such as more segregated cycle paths and foot paths, to make this vision a reality.”

Businesses are being invited to share their views on what actions government should take in order to decarbonise transport. Please email [email protected] or write to Transport Decarbonisation Plan, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London, SW1P 4DR.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.