The new ‘UK Low Carbon Transition Plan’: what role for walking?

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The new 'UK Low Carbon Transition Plan': what role for walking?

Posted 15 July 2009 15:22 by martin

The Government today published its Low Carbon Transition Plan.

It plots out how the UK will meet a cut in emissions of 34% on 1990 levels by 2020.

It says that by 2020:
  • More than 1.2 million people will be in green jobs
  • More than 1.5 million households will be supported to produce their own clean energy
  • 40% of electricity will be from low carbon sources, from renewables, nuclear and clean coal
  • The UK will be importing half the amount of gas that we otherwise would
  • The average new car will emit 40% less carbon than now.
It's easy to be cynical about this stuff, but it really does look as though the UK is taking a bit of a world lead (in legislative terms at least) on climate change.  And even if the detail is in the delivery, you've still got to have a plan to deliver that detail.

In the transport section walking gets a mention in the context of the new 'Sustainable Travel City', where up to £29 million will be available over 3 years for a major urban area to invest in initiatives to cut car travel and increase walking, cycling and public transport use.

While £29 million is certainly a chunky amount of money, one area getting a lot of money for 3 years doesn't amount to much of a plan.

But let's not be churlish – if deemed a success (like the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns), maybe it will provide a model for all the UK's large urban areas.  Then, the combined health, air quality, noise, community and carbon benefits of getting more people out and about more on foot (and bike) would really start to kick in.

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