Chamber News

Carbon-cutting transport strategy reflects COP26 summit

Carbon-cutting transport strategy reflects COP26 summit

The public are being urged to have their say on an ambitious new transport strategy which aims to cut carbon emissions in the East and guide much-needed investment in transport over the next 30 years.

Transport East is consulting on its proposed strategy to support councils, the Government and other partners in identifying the schemes and funding needed to support sustainable economic growth in the region and improve people’s quality of life.

Covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock, the strategy sets a series of priorities for better transport for everybody living, working, and learning in the region up to 2050.

Central to this is achieving net zero carbon emissions from transport – an issue brought sharply into focus during the recent COP26 summit.

It is a particular priority in the East region, where transport is responsible for 42 per cent of all carbon emissions - more than any other source and above the national average.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chair of Transport East and Leader of Essex County Council, said:

“Transport emissions are a significant driver of climate change and contribute to poor air quality, which impacts both our health and the environment.

“As we heard loud and clear during COP26, urgent action is now needed to protect our planet for future generations, and we must all play our part, including re-thinking how we travel.

“Tackling emissions has to be at the forefront of our minds and that is why we have put decarbonisation right at the heart of our proposed transport strategy.”

Cllr Bentley acknowledged that councils, transport operators and the wider industry were already taking steps to reduce emissions and decarbonise transport networks but believes much more is needed to be done.

The draft strategy also identifies the transport investment needed to tackle specific challenges facing different communities across the East, including coastal and rural areas, which are home to nationally significant agriculture, tourism and energy sectors but are often poorly connected.

Enhancing links between and within the region’s fastest growing towns and cities and improving connections to and from its ports and airports are also key priorities.

Cllr Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council representative on Transport East and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Transport Strategy and Waste, added:

“The East is a great place to live and work, with significant growth predicted for both jobs and homes.

“Improvements to our transport networks are going to be vital in levelling up the region and allowing us to fulfil our huge potential.

“To do this, we need to know what you think. Now is the chance to have your say on our proposed strategy and help us shape the future of transport in the region by taking part in our public consultation.”

Transport East Parliamentary Ambassador and Suffolk MP, Dr Dan Poulter stressed the importance of a regional approach to transport.

“If the East is secure the long-term transport investment it needs to grow sustainably, we need to come together and make the best case to Government.

The Transport East Strategy sets out a positive vision for our transport networks and will help the region strengthen its position when seeking further funding.”

Transport East’s online public consultation opened today (Thursday, 2 December 2021) and will close on Sunday, 30 January 2022. A virtual exhibition, containing information about the proposed transport strategy, can be accessed online, while a more detailed consultation brochure and easy read brochure are also available.

Find out more about the strategy and upcoming online consultation events, visit the virtual exhibition and complete the consultation survey at: www.transporteast.org.uk.

Article by Suffolk Chamber