Rachel White, Head of Public Affairs at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity responds to the UK Government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
The Plan confirms the date of the end to the sale of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles has been brought forward to 2030 – although hybrids will be on sale until 2035.
Sustrans welcomes this as part of a long term strategy to tackle the climate crisis.
However, evidence shows that even with an end to the sale of the most polluting vehicles in 2030 we will still need a 20% - 60% reduction in traffic by 2030 to meet climate targets.
In other words,we need fewer, not just cleaner, car trips given the number of polluting vehicles that will remain on the road long after 2030 and that a significant amount of air pollution comes from brake and tyre wear.
The best way to reduce vehicle trips is to make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.
Whilst the Ten Point Plan commits to this, the Government needs to build on the £2bn promised for walking and cycling over the course of the next four years to meet their own targets of doubling cycling levels compared to 2016 levels by 2025 and ensuring half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked by 2030.
Moreover, the Ten Point Plan aims to make our homes and public buildings more energy-efficient, but we need to make sure that journeys to and from home are greener, too.
To make this easier for people, the Government must ensure that changes to the planning system deliver fewer developments where residents are dependent on their car for short trips, and deliver more 20-Minute Neighbourhoods, where everyday services can be reached easily and safely in a twenty-minute return walking trip.