Smart Transport

Transport for the North launches regional Transport Decarbonisation Strategy

Martin Tugwell, chief executive at Transport for the North

Transport for the North (TfN) has launched its new strategy that outlines its targets of near-zero carbon emissions from transport by 2045.

It is the first time a regional strategy of this type has been produced, bringing together the region’s leaders to speak out with one voice on the climate emergency and how the transport sector must act to address the challenge.

It highlights the ambitions of the North of England in tackling carbon emissions, with the region aiming to go beyond national policy and targets, with a clear plan for making progress as quickly as possible.

It also demonstrates the importance of achieving a fair transition for all of the North’s communities - maximising clean growth opportunities; the need to ensure decarbonisation is at the heart of transport-related policy and investment decisions; and how action at a regional level can help the North achieve its collective ambitions.

Four priority activities have been agreed following the consultation on the strategy over summer.

These cover rail electrification; improving public transport, including Northern Powerhouse Rail; developing a Zero Emission Vehicle charging infrastructure framework; and developing a regional route map for transport decarbonisation.

The wider action plan within the strategy covers:

  • Encouraging modal shift towards more sustainable ways of travelling, such as public transport and active travel
  • Zero emission vehicles, including cars, HGVs and buses, with a comprehensive network of charging facilities to support their wider use
  • The decarbonisation of the rail network through electrification
  • The use of hydrogen and alternative fuel vehicles
  • Opportunities for decarbonisation in the freight industry
  • Reducing the embodied carbon within new transport infrastructure development

Martin Tugwell, TfN chief executive, said: “Tackling the climate emergency is a critical challenge, and the North of England has an important role to play.

“As outlined in our Transport Decarbonisation Strategy and highlighted by our Members, we believe our region can, and must, take clear and comprehensive action to decarbonise surface transport over the coming years.”

Tugwell said the regional strategy approach demonstrates the power of TfN’s members speaking with one voice and then putting action behind their words.

Cllr Louise Gittins, interim chair of TfN and leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Our vision is to see a system where every person and business has access to high quality, accessible and affordable zero carbon transport.

“Transport plays a huge role in our daily lives, and we are committed to creating a system that provides high quality mobility solutions and addresses long-standing barriers to accessibility.”

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