Responses to the Recent Department for Transport Public Questionnaire
The Department for Transport recently ran a consultation exercise starting on 8th July and closing on 31st August, 2020. This was open to the public and we were asked to submit our ideas for and about the steps we should take to reduce emissions from transport. THis was to assist the government in creating a plan to ensure the UK transport is net zero in emissions by 2050.
Cllr Nick Hollinghurst, who represents the Tring Division on Hertfordshire County Council and who was an early adopter of all-electric motoring, overcame any feelings of cynicism about government consultations and decided to make a full and positive response, uploading his completed questionnaire his responses in the final quarter of an hour!
These are the answers he gave to the more specific and detailed questions.
What do you think the government should be doing to reduce the greenhouse gasses that are produced by:
Cars? Encourage a switch from petrol or diesel to full all-electric vehicles.
Buses and Coaches? Financial assistance to manufacturers to develop electric or hybrid vehicles and to operators to acquire and run them
Vans and Lorries? Encourage owners of vans and LGVs to move to all-electric vehicles. HGVs may have to remain diesel powered but must be developed into cleaner and more efficient vehicles to Euro 7 standard and/or as mild hybrids. (note: the date for Euro 7 has not yet been fixed)
Passenger Rail? Electrify most lines, perhaps with power supplies to branch lines to operate with battery electric trains
Aviation? No further expansion of airports, strongly discourage flights of less than 300 miles with an air ticket tax levied to help rail greening.
Freight? Encourage Railfreight with greater subsidies, better rail infrastructure and freight routes and improved rail/road interchange facilities. Introduce electic traction or hybrid locomotives (large format lead/acid accumulators)
Maritime? On short ferry routes - islands, cross-channel - battery-powered boats (large format lead/acid accumulators)
Other Transport? Investment in active transport infrastructure to make cycling an accepted form of everyday transport, safe, family-friendly, able to accomodate e-bikes and with chargers at bus/tram stops in suburbs to encourage active transport for part of longer journeys.
What, if any, changes to reduce greenhouse gases produced by your local transport would you like to see made?
Electrify buses and trains - invest in light rail and active travel with bike parking and e-bike chargers at suburban tram, bus, train stations/stops. Bikes on off-carriageway, segregated, safe, family-friendly cycleways with e-bikes as part of the mix.
What, if any, examples of good tranport initiatives in your local area do you have (with a perticular focus on low or zero emission initiatives)?
For larger towns Park & Ride with charging points for EVs so commuters and tourists can park, charge and go into town on an electric bus. e.g. Salisbury (though still with conventional buses).
Planned enhancement of Watford - St Albans rail line with passing loop. Would like to see Watford Met Line Extension revived to allow people to go to Watford Hospital by train.
What changes would you like to see that will help red7uce the greenhouse gases produced from longer journeys?
Taxis to be encouraged as oublic transport. Electrification of railways and the development of all-electric buses.
What action do you think government should take to reduce greenhouse gases produced from:
Distribution of goods across the country? Increase railfreight and especially encourage fast parcel services by fast rail routes.
Delivery of goods to shops or residences? All deliveries to be made in e-vans or e-LGVs.
Nick's final point in response to the final general question was "Let's carry on with decarbonisation, but do it faster - and maybe try to nudge people into adopting calmer lifestyles."