Decarbonising transport

Our ambition is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from transport by 2040, a decade ahead of the legal requirement.

Our current pattern of travel and consumption of resources is not compatible with delivering net-zero carbon emissions. The scale of planned growth increases the need for a step-change in our approach, as does the desire across the Heartland to achieve net-zero earlier than the legal requirement of 2050.

We will do this by prioritising investment not just on the basis of value for money, but for its contribution towards achieving net-zero, as well as wider sustainability and environmental goals.

And we will harness the region’s capacity to use ‘living laboratories’ at scale as the means of developing, trialling and subsequently adopting solutions that provide the user with choice, secures modal shift, and which create green economic opportunities in their own right.

England's Economic Heartland chairs the decarbonisation group of England's seven sub-national transport bodies.

What we're doing

Decarbonisation Roadmap (work ongoing)

Through discussions of the Strategic Transport Forum and consultation feedback, EEH's transport strategy includes an ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

We are now developing a standalone ‘roadmap’ setting out a realistic pathway to decarbonising the transport ecosystem in our region, including a trajectory and non-binding carbon budgets/targets for transport.

The initial stage focuses on translating the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC’s) Sixth Carbon Budget and Pathways to 2050 (Transport) into a regionally specific decarbonisation roadmap. EEH has commissioned City Science to develop the first package of the decarbonisation roadmap for the Heartland.

The approach will work with established UK pathways to decarbonisation, particularly the CCC’s ‘surface transport pathway’. The draft outputs of the first work package will be delivered imminently.

Once completed EEH will look to take the outputs and commission the second work package, translating the baseline and nationally adopted trajectories into a placed based approach to transport decarbonisation. This will support a deeper understanding the challenges and opportunities that are emerging in a way that’s most relevant and applicable to their localities.

Pathways to Decarbonisation (2020)

In 2020 England's Economic Heartland commissioned Oxford and Southampton universities to use advanced modelling to show how the region could achieve a net zero carbon transport system by 2050.

The study (Pathways to Decarbonisation) assumed a transition to 100% zero-emissions cars, light goods vehicles (LGVs), heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs, for example buses and coaches) by 2050. In addition, the work allowed EEH to identify the following pathways to decarbonisation:

i) A highly connected future, one that enables our transport system to provide better transport information to the user, better management of the transport network, and the rapid deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles. This pathway will build on a step change in the provision of digital access and services to the home – allowing for a significant increase in home working and a significant change in travel patterns

ii) A policy-led behavioural shift by which decision makers at all levels agree to deploy policy levers specifically designed to reduce the number of car trips. This will require the application of measures designed to reduce the need to travel. In parallel, it requires a commitment to ensure local communities have real choice in the way they travel – with bus, rail and active travel options being attractive and viable alternatives to the private car.

By primarily reducing the need to travel, focusing on modal shift and supporting the deployment of mass rapid transit and active travel, it highlights an affordable alternative to traditional, large-scale road projects that take many years to plan, fund and deliver.

Relevant consultation responses

Decarbonising Transport - Setting the Challenge response September 2020.pdf

Relevant news/ blogs

EEH ideally positioned to support Government decarb plan

‘Go harder and faster on decarbonisation’, consultation tells England’s Economic Heartland

Universities collaboration signposts pathways to decarbonisation

BLOG: Why we've chosen two pathways to decarbonisation

BLOG: DfT’s decarbonisation strategy takes welcome first step

Relevant Forum papers

Forum - July 16 2021 - Agenda Item 3 - Transport Decarbonisation

Agenda Item 6 EV and Road Pricing response 05022021.pdf

Agenda Item 4 Decarbonisation 271120.pdf

Pathways to Decarbonisation June 2020