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Bristol – 40% Reduction in Vehicle Miles Needed

Buses and bikes in Bristol, by Geof Sheppard, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0
Buses and bikes in Bristol, by Geof Sheppard, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Bristol is set to accept a government grant of £500,000 in order to commission several studies looking at how the city can speed up plans to decarbonise its transport network, reports the Bristol Post.

The matter will be considered at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on 7th June 2022.

Bristol is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Transport Emissions

Transport is the largest single source of emissions, both nationally and in Bristol. Transport emissions in the city that’s home to the Clifton Suspension Bridge have only reduced by 10% over the last decade – much less than other sectors.

Bristol’s transport policy manager says that for the city to be carbon neutral by 2030, 90% of vehicles will have to be ultra-low emission by then, and:

‘…it’s estimated we will need a 40% reduction in vehicle miles’

bristol’s transport policy manager

If that applies in Bristol, similar reductions in vehicle miles are likely to be needed in other parts of the country. Is the scale of change required in such a short period of time even being discussed around the UK?

How the Grant Will Be Used

A third of the grant will be used to study decarbonising freight. Freight consolidation hubs are expected to be recommended, with small electric vehicles and cargo bikes used for ‘last mile’ deliveries.

Studies will also look at electric buses and installing cycle hangars. There could be a zero-emission zone in the city centre.

Bristol University Report

A Bristol University report in June 2020 found that in order to reach net zero by 2030, at least 55% of trips needed to be made on foot or by bike. The overall split in mode trips they said was needed was:

  • walking and cycling – 55%
  • public transport – 25%
  • car – 20%

‘Our findings show that travel in Bristol is currently dominated by cars, when what we urgently need is for more people to travel by bus, and most importantly, by foot or by bike. We need our road spaces transformed into safe and spacious streets, with designated cycling lanes and travel networks that connect the entire city.’

researcher/postgraduate student clare watson
Bristol – 40% Reduction in Vehicle Miles Needed

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