As I type this I'm watching The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP on his feet in the House of Commons launching the transport decarbonisation plan. With an aim to decarbonise all transport by 2050 it is certainly ambitious and no doubt the devil will be in the detail. The plan is the first of its kind in the world covering all modes of transport with the intention of encouraging real change in the way we travel and transport goods. Active travel is the real driver, seeing more of us out walking and cycling to wherever we need to go. Recognising that isn't always possible we should be shifting away from private cars and instead utilising public transport with a focus on trains and buses moving to cleaner sources of fuel.
All of these things make sense, of course they do, and with the infrastructure to support it and increased efficiencies in public transport, why shouldn't it happen? There are some clear challenges though. One of which must be the current argument about face coverings and the public's aversion to using public transport in light of the pandemic. There are also some areas which are severely in need of investment (Phase 2b of HS2 anyone? Midland Mainline electrification perhaps?) and without that people may still be loathe to leave the comfort of their cars in favour of cold platforms and overcrowding.
Something has to be done though, we cannot carry on as we are and now is the time, post pandemic and in light of the discussions going on in most business about hybrid working, when it has never been more right to have these discussions.
This plan will be supporting by other sector specific plans, most of which will be launched later today - and I for one am looking forward to digesting them on my next trip into the office, by train of course!
Government publishes world’s first ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport by 2050