Transport is at the heart of the City of York’s new Climate Change action update, launched this week.
In 2019, City of York council declared a Climate Emergency and set its ambition for York to become a net-zero carbon city by 2030. Since then, over £345m of investment has led to a steady stream of activity to turn this ambition into reality.
Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate change said: “We want residents to understand what their council is doing to tackle climate change on a local level, to give them ideas for steps they can take in their own home or business, and to inspire them to join the collective effort to improve our environment here in York.
“Whilst the council’s first Climate Change Strategy will be published later this year, knowing that our ambition is net zero, many projects and initiatives have taken steps towards better managing our use of energy, protecting green spaces and improving air quality across the city to build a cleaner, greener city.
“The council is responsible for less than 4% of the city’s total carbon emissions, yet through our projects and activities, we can have a bigger impact. Over £345m has been invested across a range of projects that collectively will bring us all closer to net zero.
The council are leading on the development of the city’s Climate Change Strategy and Local Transport Plan (LTP), which will set the framework to both reduce carbon emissions and be more climate resilient by 2030. The LTP will set our future transport priorities. During the summer, residents will be invited to comment on the draft Climate Change Strategy.
To better understand the scale of ambition and the impact we are making, the council has established annual emissions reporting to benchmark and track city-wide and council progress in reducing emission. Annual reporting is part of our commitment to demonstrate openness and accountability in achieving the net zero carbon goal.
In addition, the council is also working to incorporate Carbon Emissions as part of the decision-making framework and screening process for council projects and policies.
Transport contributes around 28% of the city’s carbon emissions and the council is taking steps to improve the sustainability of how people and goods get in and move around the city. In 2020, York became the first and only city in the country to voluntarily introduce a clean air zone for buses, aimed at reducing exhaust emissions, as part of a bid to tackle pollution.
The council was recently awarded £17.36 million over three years to support the development of key bus schemes and initiatives across the city. In March, the authority was awarded £8.4million to support the purchase of an additional 44 electric buses to add to the 33 already in service on the park and ride network.
The four-year Fleet Electrification programme will cover all vehicles under 3.5 tonnes and the council’s Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs) will all be of the highest environmental standards.
The council’s electric vehicle (EV) Strategy supports residents to travel more sustainably with the creation of EV charging Hyper Hubs due to open shortly at the Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park and Ride sites.
The council have allocated around £3.3million to support active travel schemes across the city to be implemented by 2023. The Active Travel Programme includes a range of improvements, new infrastructure, and active travel initiatives such as people streets.
Recently, the Executive Member for Transport announced the current scheme with TIER Mobility, under the Department for Transport e-scooter trial, has been extended until November 2022 in line with government extension of the trial.
Furthermore, the council’s iTravel team continue to provide advice, resources, and support to help residents get around York sustainably.
As well as corporate and resident travel, the council is looking into solutions to reduce the carbon emissions of logistics and goods deliveries. This work includes feasibility studies and schemes researching solutions to deliveries travelling in to and out of the city centre.