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Local Transport Plans: Decarbonisation

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 19 May 2022

12. What steps he plans to take to help ensure that local transport plans prioritise decarbonised modes of transport. (900112)

As part of guidance to be published later this year, local transport plans will be expected to include quantifiable carbon reductions.

The opportunity to make a seismic transition to cycling and walking in our towns and cities is simply not being realised in places such as York, the home of Active Travel England. “Gear Change” is the right ambition, but local plans and local transport plans are just not reflecting it. So how will the Minister ensure that this ambition is instituted in planning? Will she publish the Government’s funding plan needed by 2025 and 2030 to achieve this cycling and walking ambition?

Goodness me, our ambition for cycling and walking is well and truly set out in our transport decarbonisation plan and “Gear Change”; it was the Prime Minister’s ambition that by 2030 half of all journeys in towns and cities will be walked or cycled. As the hon. Lady mentioned, the home of Active Travel England will be located in York. This is just one of the ways in which we are decarbonising the transport system, moving away from fossil fuels and to electrification. I am also delighted that she has 33 electric buses operating a park-and-ride system in York.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Minister and I both know that the quickest way to decarbonise the air around our nation’s great airports is to implement the airspace modernisation programme, which will allow for better take-offs, better landings, more efficiency and the ending of stacking. The good news is that guidance was issued in May—three years ago. Does the Minister want to take a punt on when the Government will implement it?

I think it best that the hon. Gentleman has a meeting with the Aviation Minister—the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Robert Courts)—specifically on that point. As for how we will decarbonise the aviation sector, again we are not short on ambition, nor on progress. We have rolled out the “Green Fuels, Green Skies” programme, and we continue to work with aviation manufacturers and airports to ensure that we decarbonise the aviation sector.