Transport challenges and solutions
Nationally, transport is the largest contributor to carbon emissions and remains largely reliant on fossil fuelsCoal, oil or natural gas. Formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals.. In Herefordshire, transport accounts for 36% of our emissions.
Transport has a significant impact on nature including wildlife being hit by vehicles, isolation of animal populations who are unable to cross roads, as well as disturbance and pollution.
Climate change is bringing additional, new challenges for transport. Flooding, landslips, heat and other extreme weather events will all have a major impact on the transport network and local travel. In order to have a resilient transport network, adaptations and additional maintenance will be required.
Much of Herefordshire is rural with limited access to public transport and the county has an elderly and increasingly ageing population. This makes access to services difficult and encourages car use.
Car usage in Hereford is high. Over 60,000 short distance car journeys start and end in the city every weekday. This a major contributor to traffic congestion, CO2 emissions and physical inactivity.
Transport plays a central role in communities. It enables access to education, work, shopping, leisure and social interaction. We need to reduce emissions from transport while creating an environment that will still allow businesses to flourish and residents to access employment, education and vital services.
Many factors influence how and when people choose to travel:
- Access to vehicles
- Access to transport infrastructure
- Safety considerations
- Age, health and fitness
- Availability of broadband, reduces the need to travel
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic most people reduced the number of journeys they made significantly. Car journeys fell 57% in April and 40% in May, use of Public Transport declined sharply and more people made journeys on foot and by bike.
However by August the fall in car journeys was just 2% and other vehicles were not so affected by the pandemic. HGV journeys were down slightly in April and May but in recent months trips have risen.
Many solutions bring wider benefits to the county. For example, the health benefits of walking and cycling, and a reduction in air pollution due to low carbon journeys.
- Reduce the need to travel - through harnessing technology and relocating services in to communities
- Increase access to active travel - by promoting and supporting people to walk and ride bikes for everyday journeys
- Reduce the number of high carbon emission journeys - by making it easier to carry out journeys in lower carbon vehicles