Reducing emissions from transport in Cambridgeshire

Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange (CUSPE) continued its valuable work with the county council recently, with a seminar specifically on reducing emissions from transport in Cambridgeshire. This follows on from their earlier report on our ‘carbon footprint’ – the amount of carbon our activities release into the atmosphere.

The report which forms the basis of this seminar has already been presented to the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which is working on transport issues in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. It’s about how to reduce congestion, CO2 and air pollutant emissions in Cambridgeshire.

Transport contributes 39 per cent of the emissions in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area, and this has not significantly reduced in the last ten years. Cambridgeshire has growing levels of congestion, and areas with air pollution over the legal limit. But there is a lack of quantitative research into the future of transport emissions in the county.

The latest project aims to estimate transport baseline emissions to 2050, focusing on road transport, reviewing policy in other cities and its success or failure, and estimating the effects of local policy interventions on passenger transport emissions.

In 2019, transport in Cambridgeshire will produce 1.6M tonnes of CO2. The faster traffic can be moved away from cars and on to more sustainable forms of transport, the greater the impact in reducing this.

The researchers looked at the effects of charging zones and strategic closures, modal shift, behaviour change, technological improvements and promotion of electric vehicle uptake, in cities including London, Durham Nottingham, Stockholm, Madrid and Milan. Nottingham has already met its 2020 target of 26 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, using biogas-fuelled buses and increasing cycling by 43 per cent with segregated cycle lanes.

The researchers recommend that by 2030, 60 per cent of travel should be sustainable, and 60 per cent of new car sales should be electric vehicles, in order to achieve a 65 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050.

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