In 2018, transport accounted for a third of total emissions in the UK. Thus making it a vital area for change if we are to reduce our overall impact. Of these transport emissions, half were from road transport, a third from aviation and a quarter from freight.
Car fuel alone makes a major contribution to overall emissions in the UK (8.6%)
Worryingly, air travel emissions have been growing at the fastest pace over the last few years. Reducing car use and increasing low-emissions transport is vital if we are to hit our UK emissions targets and make meaningful progress on tackling climate change.
The Zero Carbon Britain project estimates that changing how we travel – with more use of public transport, walking, cycling, switching to efficient electric vehicles and two thirds less flying – could reduce energy demand for transport by 78%.
Transport is the biggest source of air and noise pollution in the UK. Air quality in the UK is slowly improving but, shockingly for 2020, many areas still fail to meet national air quality standards. In town centres and alongside busy roads, motor vehicles are responsible for most local pollution and environmental noise.
Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK
As long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions this is leading to reduced life expectancy. Air pollution has also been identified as a direct threat to biodiversity in England with negative impacts on many habitats of nature conservation importance in the UK.
Herefordshire Council (HC) runs the “Choose how you Move” initiative which aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve quality of life. They do this by promoting and supporting increased walking, cycling, bus travel and car-sharing. Information on free cycle lessons, led rides, Nordic walking and cycle routes can be found on the Herefordshire Council website. In addition to information about Park and Cycle and rail and cycle facilities for those who live further afield but would still like to cycle their daily commute.
HC also offers help to businesses and organisations to support sustainable travel to work and reduce business mileage – click here for details.
There are regular bus services in Hereford, as well as on principal inter-urban runs between Hereford and the market towns as well as Ledbury to Gloucester, Malvern and Worcester (Mondays to Saturdays). There are also buses on some routes on Sundays. As a rural county, bus services to our villages are limited although they are available. Information on bus times can be found on the Traveline website (or by calling 0871 200 22 33). Train info is here.
Hereford city has a car share club in St.James, as do Malvern, Colwall & Ledbury, Kington and Fownhope. These are models that could be used in other areas. Why not ask your Parish Council to look into this?
There are regular daily rail services between Hereford, Leominster, Ledbury and Colwall. These are from early morning to late evening. https://www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
Check out the local groups that are campaigning for improved public transport such as Rail & Bus for Herefordshire, Bus Users UK ad Campaign for Better Transport.
Be smart about car travel
I will research, plan and implement at least 5 smart driving initiatives.
Choose an efficient vehicle
I will commit to buying a smaller / less polluting vehicle that uses the least energy per mile driven when I next change my home / business vehicle.
Join a car club
I will find out about community (electric) car hire / sharing clubs in my area – and if there is one, join it.
Join the electric vehicle trend
I will commit to buying a second hand or new electric car or van as my next home / business vehicle.
Use your feet (& knees…)
I will make half of my usual short car journeys (up to 2 miles) by walking or cycling for the next year.