New UK alliance forms for ‘green and fair’ transport to tackle climate emergency

Nine walking, cycling, public transport and shared mobility groups have come together to call for ‘rapid’ action to cut greenhouse gas emissions with less than one year to go until COP26 in Glasgow.

The NGOs have formed the Sustainable Transport Alliance, a new UK-wide alliance for green and fair transport to tackle the climate emergency and ensure inclusive transport for all. Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, the alliance said rapidly reducing private car use is ‘crucial to safeguarding our climate and tackling air pollution’.

The Sustainable Transport Alliance has been established by the Community Rail Network, the Campaign for Better Transport, Greener Journeys, Bus Users UK, the Community Transport Association, Living Streets, Sustrans, the London Cycling Campaign and Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK).

The alliance has set three top priorities:

– Communicate that public, shared and community transport, alongside active travel, is beneficial and aspirational, crucial to recovery, our climate and communities
– Create opportunities for collaboration and innovation across the transport field, involving local, national and devolved governments, and putting communities at the heart of positive change
– Bring partners and evidence together to galvanise strategic and systemic progress on sustainable, inclusive transport in the build-up to COP-26

In a joint statement, the Sustainable Transport Alliance said: “We want to ensure that public, community and shared transport, alongside and connected with walking and cycling, is prioritised, celebrated and developed, so everyone can access opportunities, get around, and live their lives by sustainable means.

“This is crucial to health and wellbeing, community cohesion and resilience, sustainable economic development, and responding to the increasingly-urgent climate emergency.

“It’s about creating the future we all want, and our children deserve. That’s why we’re working together to support and empower communities, and advise policy and decision-makers, to help to unlock the great benefits of sustainable and inclusive transport for all.

“We are asking governments at all levels, our partners in transport and within communities, to work with us. We are at a critical point: we must work swiftly to ensure we have our transport priorities right, based on communities and environment, health and wellbeing.”

The alliance was agreed at the recent annual collaborative mobility conference, hosted by shared transport charity CoMoUK. The event explored the challenges facing the UK ahead of COP26 next year and how to hit the country’s legally binding net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.

Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, added: “We must turn the corner on greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade if we are to have a chance of keeping the Earth’s climate-safe and habitable. The biggest source of emissions is transport, and increasing car and van mileage means emissions continue to rise.

“Individuals, families and communities depend on public, community and shared transport, alongside walking and cycling. All of us stand to gain enormously from prioritising, improving, and widening access to, these modes.”

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