The Transport Planning Society has urged the Government to make a “serious shift” in investment to sustainable transport as part of its key recommendations in its new report.
The ‘State of the Nations: Transport Planning for a Sustainable Future’ report, conducted by the University of Hertfordshire, sets out how the Government should achieve a low carbon transport system.
TPS wants policy to be made more inclusive by “unhooking” people from car-dependence and giving individuals more travel choices, including travelling less.
The report concludes that the way transport is planned and integrated into society will be key to the UK’s ability to address the major challenges of today, particularly the decarbonisation of transport.
The report also recommends that transport spending and taxation needs to support decarbonisation, with objectives set out in transport strategies and spending priorities to address these important national aims.
Stephen Bennett, TPS chair, said: “Transport planning is about improving people’s lives and creating better places by developing an efficient, integrated and healthy transport system.
“Our State of the Nations report takes stock of where we are with transport planning in Great Britain, identifying our strengths and areas for improvement.
“Today’s new research by experts at the University of Hertfordshire makes clear that to create a sustainable system and healthier places for people, we need to release ourselves from car-dependency.
“That means the Government seriously shifting resources to sustainable transport, ensuring this is integrated with the planning system and reducing the cost of using public transport.
“We need to make sustainable modes of transport the easiest and safest choices, resulting in cleaner air, healthier lifestyles and potential savings.”
Dr Scott Copsey, director of the Smart Mobility Unit, University of Hertfordshire, said the report was written at a time of profound and rapid change in travel patterns, policy and spending, with the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown being felt across the country.
However, he said the major challenges the sector faces, particularly on decarbonising transport, remain the same.
He added: “To reduce transport emissions in Britain, the way we travel must significantly change.
“There needs to be a reduction in car and other vehicle travel, as well as a move towards electric vehicles.
“We look forward to continuing working with Governments and local authorities to help meet these important emissions challenges.”