As discussions at COP26 this week focus on driving the global transition to zero emission transport, Calderdale Council is reflecting on its own progress to reduce transport emissions and meet ambitious net zero targets.
Road transport accounts for 10% of global emissions, and its emissions are rising faster than those of any other sector. COP26 discussions recognise the global need to accelerate the transition to zero carbon vehicles and in the UK the sale of petrol and diesel cars is due to be phased out by 2030.
Calderdale Council is supporting this ambition and has already made changes to replace old petrol and diesel vehicles in its fleet with electric and hybrid models. These will cut carbon dioxide emissions by around 75% per vehicle, supporting the Council ambition to make the borough carbon neutral by 2038 or sooner.
The Council is also committed to encouraging the wider use of electric vehicles and charging points are in place in ten car parks right across Calderdale as part of a joint project between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the five West Yorkshire councils and Leeds-based energy and services company, ENGIE. A further 13 charge points are due to be installed across the borough later this month, funded through the government’s on-street residential charge point scheme.
In addition to supporting a switch to electric vehicles, the Council is also encouraging the wider use of active methods of travel. This is supported by the Active Calderdale movement, which works with communities across the borough to make physical activity part of everyday life.
To ensure infrastructure supports this ambition, millions of pounds worth of investment from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is being spent in Calderdale on a number of schemes to improve options for walking and cycling and the use of public transport.
Investment is planned at Halifax bus and rail stations, as well as in a brand-new rail station and access improvements in Elland. Work is also being carried out to major routes in the borough to improve bus travel and make walking, cycling and other active ways of travelling, safer and more appealing. More information about all these projects can be found at https://www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/(external link)
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:
“Transport is one of the biggest contributors to global emissions, but we can all play a part in reducing this by rethinking our own travel choices and even small changes can make a huge difference.
“To achieve ambitious zero carbon targets both locally and globally, we need to do all we can to reduce our reliance on petrol and diesel transport options and make sustainable choices. We also know that to change our travel habits we need to ensure that sustainable methods are accessible and realistic – and this requires significant investment.
“There’s so much exciting progress being made to transform Calderdale and make it easier for everyone to make greener travel choices. From millions of pounds of investment in local infrastructure to localised support for community groups and individuals, each element has a role to play to help us make sustainable choices and reach our ambitious targets.”