The latest government figures show that transport was the largest source of climate changing greenhouse gases in the UK. Transport, mostly passenger cars, makes up more than a third of total emissions.
To coincide with the publication of these figures, Friends of the Earth, along with researchers at think-tank Transport for Quality of Life have released new research: Transforming public transport: Regulation, spending and free buses for the under 30s. The findings show that for climate change reasons at least a 20 per cent reduction in car journeys is necessary, even with a faster switch to electrics cars and a more rapid decarbonisation of the electricity grid. This reduction requires a radical re-imagining of transport which would also realise the numerous other benefits of traffic reduction, for example to public health.
Mike Childs, Head of Research at Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s an idea whose time has well and truly arrived. Free bus travel for the under 30’s at first, before widening the scheme, would make for more livable cities and cut damaging greenhouse gas emissions.”