Exeter City Futures has launched a roadmap to enable the city to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Entitled ‘Net Zero Exeter 2030’ the plan sets out a series of actions that local authorities, organisations and individuals can take.
The plan has been produced by Exeter City Futures and presented to Exeter City Council.
Some of the key suggestions around mobility include launching a city-wide low-carbon mobility scheme, supported by an integrated multi-model ticketing system that will improve movement into and around the city. It is estimated this will save around 8,751 tonnes of carbon per year at a cost of over £500m.
Other plans include introducing a segretated cycle and walking network at a cost of around £100m, offering a saving of 246 tonnes of carbon per year.
It has been suggested that all Exeter businesses should be encouraged to introduce sustainable travel initiatives to help reduce their carbon footprints. This is estimated to cost under £500,000 and would save 1,168 tonnes of carbon per year.
A city centre free from non-essential vehicles
The plan proposes that the city centre would be free from non-essential motorised vehicles "to provide a vibrant public space and free up land currently used for driving and parking".
This is part of Exeter's vision to reduce the dominance of cars and have 50% of trips made using active modes of transport like walking and cycling.
However, low emission vehicles will still be supported with Exeter keen to promote the use of EV car sharing clubs. Devon County Council also has plans in place to introduce over 150 charging points in the next two years through the StreetHUBZ Project.
The plan will enable a shift to all private cars being ultra-low emission vehicles that will save around 49,217 tonnes of carbon a year at a cost of around £5 million.
While the formal launch of the document was due to take place at the Net Zero Exeter Mobilisation Summit, which had to be postponed as a result of COVID-19, Exeter City Futures has kept to its commitment of producing the Plan and presenting it to the City Council.
A formal endorsement of this plan by Exeter City Council is expected to be delayed while the local authorities, organisations and individuals deal with the continuing impact of COVID-19, “which understandably has to take priority”.
Liz O’Driscoll, Exeter City Futures managing director, said: “The Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan has been four years in the making with collaboration with the many different communities, institutions, organisations and individuals who make up our city.
“Everyone across Exeter has a role to play, this isn’t something that can be delivered by any local authority alone.
“This plan represents the contribution of hundreds of businesses and individuals across Exeter, who have engaged with us to set out the action plan to become a carbon-neutral city and ensure it remains one of the best places to live in the UK."
O’Driscoll said many businesses and individuals are now struggling to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 and this is likely to change the way the city views and responds to the Plan.
As a result Exeter City Futures expects to refresh the Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan towards the end of this year to reflect on the position of the city as a result of COVID-19, and then annually as the city begins to mobilise projects and action that feed into Exeter’s carbon ambitions.
Exeter City Futures’ work also feeds into wider regional plans by Devon Climate Emergency Group.
The launching of the plan is the final work of O’Driscoll, who leaves Exeter City Futures after more than four years’ service.