The Bartlett School of Planning


Thinking Strategically: Pathways Towards Low Carbon Transport

Thinking strategically

4 September 2020

Robin Hickman, David Banister (2012), In Ryley, T., Chapman, L. "Transport and Climate Change", Emerald

This chapter examines the CO2 baseline within Oxfordshire and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, assessing the high and low emitters in terms of relative transport CO2 emissions. A target for the county is developed at 1.2 tCO2 per capita by 2030, and ultimately 0.5 tCO2 per capita by 2050, and scenario analysis is used to assess the potential interventions, policy packages and different pathways available for CO2 emission reduction.

Methodology/approach: The central Oxfordshire transport model (COTOM) is used to quantify the likely impacts of different policy areas over the long term to 2030. It is illustrated how the strategic policy direction can be set within transport, and attempts are made to quantify the scale of likely impacts from the options available.

Findings: Current interventions and levels of funding for sustainable transport are not strong enough to significantly reduce transport CO2 emissions in line with the national UK targets and there is a significant underestimation of the scales of change required. There is a major discontinuity between the ‘greenwash’ of the conjecture at the national governmental level and the level of funding necessary to actually implement effective actions at the local level.

Originality/value: The chapter is original in illustrating how the strategic policy direction can be set within transport at the regional level and also in attempting to quantify the scale of likely impacts.