Northern transport plan must do more for people and environment, says Friends of the Earth
Commenting on the plan, Friends of the Earth Yorkshire & Humber/North East campaigner Simon Bowens said:
“This much-needed transport plan must do more to protect our health and environment, as well as delivering important economic benefits. The plan mentions a reduction in carbon emissions, but more specific targets must be set.
“The effects of climate change, such as flooding, are already being seen in towns and cities across the north, while the air in cities such as Leeds is dangerously polluted.
“Action to improve air quality, cut climate-wrecking pollution and protect the north’s natural environment must be at the very heart of this plan. We encourage local communities across the region to make their voices heard in the consultation.”
Friends of the Earth is calling for the Strategic Transport Plan to deliver on a number of issues including:
- Reducing carbon emissions and ensuring that transport contributes properly to the Climate Change Act and Paris Agreement. Transport for the North has not currently set a target for reducing emissions from transport (or giving any indication of the scale of reduction needed). This must be addressed if the north is to meet the target of a 44% reduction in transport emissions between now and 2030, recommended by the Committee for Climate Change.
- Addressing the dangerously polluted air across cities and towns in the north. An ambitious transport strategy, incorporating better provision for walking and cyclists as well as improved public transport, would put the north at the forefront of progress, bringing air pollution within legal limits, while boosting both public health and economic prospects.
- Protecting the beautiful natural landscapes across the region from development, to ensure that future generations can enjoy all the benefits that come from having access to nature.
- Addressing the regional imbalance across the north to ensure that the entire region benefits from sustainable transport development.
- Ensuring that Transport for the North engages with and listens to all communities in the region.