1 April 2020

Decarbonising Transport: write to your MP

the interior of a busIntroduction

The publication of the policy document 'Decarbonising Transport: setting the challenge' has slipped through unnoticed during the Covid-19 crisis. Yet, in his introduction, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport states:

‘Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network’. 

This is a very welcome statement. We would urge you to write to your MP, praising this intention and indicating that you will be expecting them to develop a policy that will achieve just this. 

Some background follows, together with a template letter that you may wish to revise and personalise.



This policy document was issued on 26th March 2020. It:

  • states how the government intends to work with others to develop a transport decarbonisation plan
  • identifies the challenge it needs to meet to reduce transport emissions and ensuring we reach net zero transport emissions by 2050
  • reviews existing climate policy in transport
  • reviews existing forecasts of future transport emissions from each mode of transport
  • identifies strategic priorities for meeting these challenges

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) will be published in later in 2020. The government has said it will work with industry and communities around the country to develop this plan – to make towns and cities better places to live, help to create new jobs, improve air quality and health, as well as taking urgent action on climate change.

It will also consider how UK technology and innovation can support major changes to the way people and goods move across the UK and ensure the UK benefits from the opportunities decarbonisation presents.

Take part in the consultation

You can share your views on decarbonising transport, register to receive regular updates on the progress of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan and receive information about the consultation workshops by emailing: TDP@dft.gov.uk


Write to your MP

Dear (John Penrose or Liam Fox)

On 26th March the government published its policy document: Decarbonising Transport: setting the challenge. In his introduction to this policy document, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport states: 

 ‘Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network’.  

This statement of intent is very welcome. Section 5.1 of the document also states:

‘to deliver the reduction in transport emissions needed for our interim carbon budgets and net zero, we will need to go further than the existing plans set out in this document. This is not optional; there is no plausible path to net zero without major transport emissions reductions, reductions that need to start being delivered soon.’

I fully support the strategic priorities contained within section 5.14. Please could you also fully support this statement and also pass on this message to Grant Shapps and the DfT.

Of course, there are still some strategic issues outstanding, such as aviation, which are not dealt with adequately in the report. As you know this has had a disproportionate adverse impact on climate change and has been growing fast over the past few years.  We have a huge window of opportunity. This industry is heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and I am pleased that our government is not rushing in to bail it out. If we do end up with some sort of public bail-out we should guide pricing structure and fuel taxation in a more responsible direction.

Although the current crisis is extremely serious and damaging, I can see a silver lining. Not only does it demonstrate the dangers and fragility of our current lifestyle, it may also allow a strong leadership to take the opportunity of directing any economic recovery towards a more sustainable way of life. All governments will need to decide which direction to go in when supporting the recovery after this disastrous pandemic. Do we return to the damaging lifestyle totally dependent on fossil fuels or move forward to green technology? There is also a huge potential in our region for job creation in: green transport, renewable energy and  insulating our existing housing stock. Please help our government to chose the right way! 


Photo image from: freeimages.co.uk 

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