Smart Transport

Transport for Quality of Life urges Government to cancel £27bn road investment strategy

Transport for Quality of Life has put new research together that estimates the Government’s £27 billion Road Investment Strategy, RIS2, will add 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to UK emissions between now and 2032.

Transport for Quality of Life report, 'The carbon impact of the national roads programme', based its research using data collected by Highways England and said the extra emissions as a result of more road capacity will negate 80% of the benefit arising from the switch to electric vehicles on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) between now and 2032.

In a joint statement, report authors Lynn Sloman and Lisa Hopkinson, Transport for Quality of Life director and associate, said: “We argue that RIS2 should be cancelled and the £27 billion road budget should be repurposed to make it easier for people to cut their car use.

“Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, investment in universal superfast broadband and thousands of remote working hubs would enable people to continue to work at or close to home, avoiding the long commute.”

The report suggests that over the longer term, better rail, coach and bus services and better cycle links to stations would make it easier to make essential trips by public transport instead of driving on motorways and trunk roads.

Sloman and Hopkinson said: “The Government is currently developing a transport decarbonisation plan, to be published later this year.

“We hope this new evidence will help make the case for cancellation of the roads programme as part of that decarbonisation plan.”

The Department of Transport's (DfT) has created a new board of high-profile expert stakeholders to help guide and shape the Government's transport decarbonisation plan in the coming months.

The Net Zero Transport Board features Professor Stephen Joseph, Smart Transport chair and visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire’s Smart Mobility Unit, alongside another Smart Transport member UK100, the UK network of local authorities focused on climate and clean energy policy.

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.

Keynote speakers included: 

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

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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