More action in this ‘decisive decade’ to halt the impact of climate change, according to Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Trudy Harrison.
Speaking at the Smart Transport conference, she said the main challenge for the transport sector is designed a system that is fit for the 21st century, meeting the ‘three c’s’-covid, carbon and convenience’, according to a report by Fleet News. She said the post-pandemic recovery will not be car-led.
The report said, the Covid pandemic saw a slump in public transport usage, particularly for commuting purposes, and, even now, train use is only at 65-70% of pre-pandemic levels and business at 80%. However, cycling rose by 46% from 2019 to 2020, the bigger increase in post-war Britain.
“We are choosing a transport system fit for the future – a future of world class public transport infrastructure, green travel, accessible to all and the ability to choose from a range of shared, clean green forms of travel,” she told delegates at the winter Smart Transport conference.
“We can’t allow this to be a passing fad,” Harrison said. “We are planning for half of all journeys by 2030, especially in towns and cities, to be active travel, so walking, cycles or scooters,” she added, reiterating the Government pledge of £3bn investment in bus transport and £96bn in rail over the course of the current parliament.
“Infrastructure has to be the main focus: we need to have safe routes to encourage behavioural change. It is important to have smooth road surfaces for cyclists but also for new cars if they are going to be electric and connected.”