Smart Transport

Smart Transport members work with DfT to shape decarbonisation plans

Grant Shapps

Members of Smart Transport have joined the Department of Transport's (DfT) new board of high-profile expert stakeholders to help guide and shape the Government's transport decarbonisation plan.

Professor Stephen Joseph, Smart Transport chair and visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire’s Smart Mobility Unit, has joined the new board, alongside another Smart Transport member UK100, the UK network of local authorities focused on climate and clean energy policy.

The first meeting of the Net Zero Transport Board was held on July 8, hosted by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) with representatives including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UPS and the International Council on Clean Transportation (full list below).

The Board will provide the opportunity for Shapps, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean and Minister for Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng to hear from expert stakeholders on what steps they feel the Government should be taking to ensure a green recovery from coronavirus (Covid-19) and the associated economic impact.

The agenda covered what further action the Government should be taking to support jobs and the economy in line with the UK’s transport decarbonisation goals, with Shapps highlighting the Government’s aim to have two million jobs by 2030 in the low carbon economy and its supply chains, up from 460,000 today.

Joseph said: "I hope to bring my experience with Smart Transport, as well as the work on rural transport policy I've been developing with the University of Hertfordshire Smart Mobility Unit, to the meetings, and use this to help shape the Government's Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

"The first meeting showed that Ministers understand the challenges they are facing in cutting transport emissions.

"Electrification of road and rail travel will be important but more will be required to meet the Government's own targets. Enlisting the support of city regions, councils, communities and businesses will be vital if the plan is to work and cut emissions in practice."

Shapps said: “Transport has a huge part to play in tackling climate change and today’s meeting is another important step for this country on our road to net zero.

“Clearly our transport decarbonisation plan must be shaped by the best brains and informed by the widest array of expertise and experience.”

The decarbonisation plan, expected later this year, is the first time the UK will lay out its approach to decarbonising every form of transport, setting out “a credible and ambitious pathway to delivering transport’s contribution to carbon budgets and to meeting net zero by 2050”.

Alongside the first meeting of the board today, the Government is also asking for the public to feed back their views online on the development of the transport decarbonisation plan to ensure that the plan works for everyone.

Maclean said: “The Transport Net Zero Board will be a key component of our greenprint for the future.

“The coronavirus pandemic has led to people making huge changes to the way they live, work and travel, and we want to capitalise and build on the new habits people have developed, as well as champion the power of new, cleaner technologies on our road to a green recovery.”

Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the creation of the Transport Net Zero Board.

He said: "As the UK begins the process of recovery from Covid-19, the need for sustainable transport has only strengthened.

"By supporting public transport, walking, cycling and zero-emission vehicles, the Government can not only improve our environment and our health, but also create jobs, tackle social exclusion and help the economy to recover."

Covering Net Zero Transport Board members
Environment Carly McLachlan, Tyndall Centre director
Environment Leo Murray, Possible founder
Roads Peter Mock, International Council on Clean Transportation EU managing director
Behavioural Change Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, UK Centre for Climate Change & Social Transformations director
Policy Richard Howard, Policy Exchange director, head of environment & energy
Place Polly Billington, UK100 Cities network director
Rural Stephen Joseph, visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire's Smart Mobility Unit
Active Travel John Lauder, Sustrans deputy chief executive
Freight / Logistics Peter Harris, UPS director of sustainability, Europe
Business Natasha Patel, Baringa Partners director
Business/tech Dr Michaela Kendall, Adelan CEO and co-founder
Roads Konstanze Scharring, SMMT director of policy
Technology Ian Meikle, Innovate UK clean growth and infrastructure director
Science / Technology Professor Robert Mair, chair of the Science Advisory Council
Aviation Adam Morton, chair of Sustainable Aviation


> MORE: Climate emergency: Decarbonisation of transport challenges & opportunities - watch our webinar 

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


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