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Tuesday, 23 November 2021 11:10

Too much electric vehicle promotion hinders growth for public and community transport

Focussing too much on electric vehicles would mean ignoring their social and environmental drawbacks, including a potential 51 per cent increase in road traffic in the UK say leading transport groups, who made an appeal at COP26 in Glasgow to world leaders to recognise that technology alone cannot reduce transport emissions.

The Sustainable Transport Alliance (STA) say that reducing traffic and shifting towards public and community transport, walking, cycling and shared mobility must be a major climate goal, which can unleash widespread health, wellbeing and social justice benefits.

sustainable transport alliance at COP26The STA is made up of Bus Users, Campaign for Better Transport, Community Rail Network, Community Transport Association, Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, and Sustrans. The COP26 event was supported by Transport Scotland and Go-Ahead Group.

Xavier Brice, Sustrans chief executive, said: "Cars dominate the UK's CO2 emissions and too much of our public space, resulting in congested neighbourhoods, uninviting public space and poor air quality, ultimately limiting our freedom to move around our local areas.

"Electric vehicles are increasingly seen as a silver bullet to tackling carbon emissions from transport. They are clearly part of the solution but they won't get us to Net Zero quickly enough and risk embedding all the downsides of car dependency.

"We know that most journeys of less than two miles are still being done by car, and so COP26 is an opportunity to focus on the importance of public transport and cycling and walking to deliver carbon neutral journeys now.

"Liberating people from the need to drive in order to build healthier and happier communities for a shared sustainable future for everyone is not only essential but also entirely possible."

Watch the Sustainable Transport Alliance 'People make Transport' session at COP26 below: