Calls for clear vision on traffic reduction welcomed

Transport Action Network broadly welcomed the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) 2022 Progress Report to Parliament published today [1], especially its recommendations on reducing traffic growth and considering alternatives to road building.

The CCC, which has applauded the Government’s ambition on climate change, is very critical in this report on the delivery and the lack of progress in many areas, including transport.

On surface transport the CCC has made a number of new recommendations, including the need for targets for reducing car travel. It noted that both Scotland and Wales had adopted such targets. It sees this as important in bringing about immediate carbon reductions while the vehicle fleet is still transitioning to electric vehicles.

The CCC criticised the Government’s road building plans for increasing demand and emissions. It stated that road building programmes should not be encouraging unconstrained traffic growth and needed to be compatible with net-zero. This led it to express concerns about the development of the next Roads Investment Strategy (RIS3) [2]. It recommended that DfT and National Highways must “rigorously assess the emissions impacts of these plans and thoroughly consider alternative approaches”.

Chris Todd, director of Transport Action Network said:

“The latest report should be a wake up call for Government. It’s good that the Government has the ambition to deal with climate change, but this report lays bare the failures in delivery. While electrification of cars is going well, progress in other areas is poor. Without a strong commitment to traffic reduction and investment to enable a switch to walking, cycling and public transport, we’re going to fail in keeping the planet safe.

“While climate change isn’t waiting for us, taking action now could help with the cost of living crisis and reduce reliance on oil from Russia. It would also lead to a healthier and happier society. The Government needs to stop stalling on the leadership needed to deliver on changes that will ultimately improve people’s quality of life.”

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

[1] 2022 Progress Report to Parliament, Climate Change Committee, 29 June 2022

[2] The government is currently nearly halfway through its second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2) a £24bn roads programme from 2020 – 2025. It is currently starting to develop its third roads programme RIS3 (2025 – 2030).


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