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Author Topic: Decarbonisation - TravelWatch SouthWest Webinar notes  (Read 1273 times)
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« on: January 22, 2021, 02:32:03 pm »

This post is was a "placeholder" for notes from the 15:30 / 22nd Jan 2021 Webinar.
My notes will be were published here by midday at 10:49 a.m on Saturday 23rd January 2021.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 10:51:45 am by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 10:49:44 am »

Written up from notes by Graham Ellis as I understood what was said. If any of the speakers feel I have misinterpreted their words, please let me know - update policy at . Speakers and other are - of course - welcome to comment themselves - this is a forum, that will cost you nothing but your time to contribute to - for fine print and to register.

TravelWatch SouthWest - decarbonisation seminar, 22.1.2021

Chris Irwin (Chair)
- How to reduce carbon / Transport has its part / place to play.
- Mike Birkin to set context
- James White to talk through for our area
- Chris Irwin also very concerned at particulates

Mike Birkin - South West Campaigns Coordinator at Friends of the Earth
- The majority of our local authorities have declared climate emergency
- Very tight (carbon) budget and timescale
- Example, Swindon has 7 years of carbon left for ever
- Our other LAs similar - mostly in the 6 to 8 year area

Transport is 1/3 of the carbon.  And from where we are, we need to act fast
1. It's late ... if you're in a hole as we are, stop digging
e.g. Road schemes for more personal traffic are incompatible with needs
2. No time to rely on upcoming technology being researched and developed
So ... a need to reduce travel and especially by personal vehicles.

Action needs help / support of public - so what is public opinion. Very much in  favour ..
78% / 79% endorse need to use public transport more / travel less
Less than 20% feel everyone should be able to drive anywhere they want but ...
- it needs to be fair
- we must not force people to use private cars by failing to offer reasonable alternative

"Cost of decarbonisation" - yes, BUT, significant signs of other benefits.

Edit to add - presentation URL in next post, which I have converted to .pdf and mirrored ((here))

James White - WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about)

"What I say very much aligns with Mike"
- West of England Action plan last autumn
- Transport is just one in five areas that needs to be dealt with

Straight line graph from current carbon to net 0 by 2030 shows a dramatic change from current / recent record which is only a very slight downward slope. Shown as a straight line rather than any other shape because we really don't have enough knowledge / data yet to show exactly how it will be achieved / numbers on things to balance.

There is a requirement to reduce need to travel / local mobility hubs including links to public transport, parcel and goods pickup, etc.

Charts / lists of reductions from elsewhere in the UK (United Kingdom). Example - West Midlands looking for 60% drop in (?) vehicle mileage.

Road building - tends to pull away from zero carbon direction, but there is limited need for new build to provide access to developments

There is a need to join transport and spatial planning; transport inputs needed to spatial planning and development to focus on corridors where transport is in place.

Edit to add - presentation URL in next post, which I have converted to .pdf and mirrored ((here))

Participants inputs - after the two guest speakers above

David Redgewell
- Buses the quickest way [to cut carbon] but need financial case to go electric
- "Buses will not be going back to commercial operation"
- Huge disappointment that no electric trains to Bristol - now on a diesel branch

Richard Gamble (requested to comment for a rural county)
- Must make travel practical to rural communities and not cut off
- Slow process. Roads not up to full standard
- (was it Richard who said?) - adding lots more cycles and walkers on current roads would rocket accident and casualty rate
- real opportunity with new trains (IET (Intercity Express Train) v HST (High Speed Train)) - more stations, reduced private car travel

Loretta Whetlor
- Example, Watchet.
- Limited roads and a single slow bus service
- Trams / trains in road (or on rail tracks there?) would make huge difference
- Long road diversions when a road is closed

John Scott
- Look at Rural population though ...
-- Typically older and health 'need' to use car even for quite short journeys
-- No local hub within practical walk / cycle distance

Ian Harrison
- need to offer lower cost 'zero' than 'carbon' travel

Cate Mack
- actual cost of decarb not as much as expected - circa 1%
- added value in society benefit
- we need to be more self contained
- no longer predict/extrapolate and provide - move to plan for changed future

Ian Dredge
- Cost of electric bus has been too high to make it attractive
- reduce carbon and road casualties by moving parked cars off main road
- too much talk and too little action

And on that final note (and noting I'm talking!) I will post this.

Public chat notes and links to follow Done ... next post in this thread
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 12:04:11 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 11:11:10 am »

From the public chat - what people actually wrote. I have filtered out operational issues with zoom ;-) ...

peter long has just arrived at falmouth university by gwr.can i recommend     this is professor j.king's lecture on 18/1 at the current conference.

Bryony Chetwode
Mike Birkin's slides [And James White's] can be found on the TWSW» (TravelWatch SouthWest - website) website front page with webinar information links
Links resolve to:

David Redgewell
Swindon is getting a new bus station as is Exeter and Weston Weston super mare.
Bristol has 99 new gas buses  funded jointly with weca local authorities and First group weca mayoral transport authority and Bristol Mayor rees is working on a bus prority scheme s mass  transit system Bristol to Bath Route

James & Tom
Bath desperately needs a new bus station! the current one is dark, dirty and an embarrassment for the beautiful city of Bath. The best bus station I have been in is Portsmouth Hard Interchange.

David Redgewell
Plymouth city bus has gas buses

David Redgewell
first group south western railway is looking at hi bred trains
Bath bus station interchange could do with modernisation
Taunton need to bus interchange in the town centre and no new car park.

James & Tom
Yes David agree with you. It needs modernising cause it is not looked after.

David Redgewell
Bath and North east Somerset council pass climate change emergency plan last night

Cllr.Loretta Whetlor SWT (South West Trains)
Milton Keynes has a good bus exchange

Colin Divall
But the WG STB plan for 2020-25, approved last month, supports numerous high-carbon highway schemes...

Go Ahead in London are using for an all electric bus fleet with 200 mile journey capability from one charging session.

Bryony Chetwode
Gloucester has been a good example of collaborative work with scope left for uptake growth

Cllr.Loretta Whetlor SWT
London could have done this 30 years ago. Many years before that we had trams and trolley buses.  TFL (Transport for London) have had millions to change things  My husband is an ex London bus driver and his union were advocating getting rid of diesel buses 40 years ago

Graham Parkhurst
China has 0.5 million electric buses in service. Cost and technological constraints do not seem to have been a barrier there like they have here!

Mike Lambden
National Express West Midlands have already started only buying electric buses and have already converted some key routes to all electric.

John Scott
We are taking an approach to issues that is highly urban in character: focused on cities and large towns. The problems of rural areas are quite distinct and far more difficult to manage.

Cllr.Loretta Whetlor SWT
Question If you want to stop the amount of cars you need to build houses around cities and towns not keep on using the green spaces.

Bryony Chetwode
What will happen with dormant planning application - review of spatial approriateness ?

Catherine Mack
We have to travel less: and can do so with better spatial planning for mixed communities with appropriate facilities and good communications (particularly internet for planning necessary journeys)

Empirically, urban extensions haven't done very well - they have become very car-dependent.

Catherine Mack
So what can we do David?

Cllr.Loretta Whetlor SWT
try living in rural Somerset  internet is dreadful phone signals in places are non existent.

James & Tom
Are David's points not worth commenting on? Specially COVID-19 secure issues.

Bryony Chetwode
This raises the point about competition for space between sustainable modes

The problem with existing urban extensions is that they are too far from the urban centres for walking (and links with employment areas can be even worse!). Some of the ideas about 15-minute neighbourhoods are worth considering - some of this comes under the "Connected Cities" brand but is applicable to smaller settlements - and West Wilts has been used as a case study.

Colin Divall
while I agree that rural car usage will take many years to reduce, it doesn't follow that private vehicles should continue to dominate market town centres.

Mike Godwin
In Bath we were promised fully electrified mainline rail by 2016, but for reasons of 'economy' they left us with diesel / electric mainline rail trains built at outrageous cost to 'save' money on the Temple Meads - Keynsham Bath - Chippenham main line.

Sue Stevens
Should public finance be given to independent coach providers for ring and ride services in rural areas to a local intermodal transport hub?

Bryony Chetwode
Understanding why we connect will be part of the solution to develop a vision for connectivity

James & Tom
I am a driver at Bristol Community Transport and the buses on the tendered routes are not covid secure. They do not have safety screens on any of there buses. I have complained but I get fobbed off with excuses which is simply putting drivers health at risk driving to/from Southmead Hospital

David Redgewell
half on weca is rural parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire outside Bristol and Bath

Mike Lambden
Suspect that people will say that they support changes to their travel until it hits them directly and they will then vote out any council who tries to restrict their travel.

David Redgewell
light rail system is possible in The Greater Bristol and Bath city region and Bournemouth Poole and Christchurch

There is also the possibility of Mobility as a service MaaS for rural areas, using electric vehicles. this is being done on parts of the Netherlands very successfully

Bryony Chetwode
Rural connectivity is also important because the tourists must have access to retain our tourist economy.  If they could access by PT, rural areas would benefit

David Redgewell
Malvin rees is looking at light rail system in Greater Bristol

Catherine Mack
Price signals have to reflect societal and environmental benefits - at present un-valued

Dick Daniel
Good point to use trams/light-rail.
Good for urban areas as a backbone of PT feed by buses.
Using old rail lines to connect to rural areas, one of the good things about trams is they can go around obstacles that have been build across the old rail lines.

David Redgewell
Dorset  needs to.invest in bus service and modern  gas buses in west Dorset and Weymouth  first group and Go head Group need partnership working

Cllr.Loretta Whetlor SWT
total new cars sold in Norway (including hybrid) was 89% last month. now wouldn?t that be an achievement here.

David Redgewell
remember Highway England are about the demolish Bridges and tunnel and Trackbed In south west England.
they are doing  this without planning permission

Colin Divall
There is  an on-line petition opposing this....

Bryony Chetwode
TWSW is doing Rural Connectivity on the 5 th February

David Redgewell
so track bed s for railway reopening and Greenway light rail route may be lost

Bryony Chetwode
And the argument is that they do not see an air quality issue in Exeter...

David Redgewell
Railfuture Facebook site s have a list

Bryony Chetwode
Next week integrating Town Centres

Catherine Mack
Yes Dick - what's missing is a good background national policy!

Emily Reed

Emily Reed
Please do respond to the consultation on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan

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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 01:52:12 am »

Regarding the specific example given of Watchet, served by narrow roads and a rather poor bus service.

Watchet can at times be effectively cut off, and not just in bad weather. The 28 bus service is barely adequate and seems to have got worse in recent years.
A huge problem is the popularity of the Butlins holiday camp at Minehead, also served by the 28 bus. On a "Butlins changeover day" Watchet is effectively cut off. EVERY bus leaving Taunton will be full and standing, with no question of anyone living in Watchet being able to board.
Likewise EVERY bus leaving Minehead will be full with no question of being able to pick up passengers at Watchet or indeed other intermediate places.

I am aware of one case of a young unemployed man from Watchet who was reduced to subsisting on charitable hand outs.
No local employment could be found, and employers outside of walking distance being reluctanct to offer employment "How will you get here on a Butlins day ?"
Attempts to claim jobseekers allowance failed most of the time as punctual attendance at the Minehead job center was required, when bad weather or Butlins changeover days prevented punctual attendance, the benifit was stopped. Benifit was also stopped for failing to attend job interviews, for the same reasons.

Various plans are periodicaly disscussed to run a train service from Taunton to Minehead, via Watchet, but never seem to progress beyond talking.

And moving on from trains, the 28 bus could be improved a bit by marking the bus stops, and even running a few extra buses at times of high demand.
The bus stop in Watchet is very confusing for visitors or new users. The SAME STOP is used for buses from Minehead and for buses to Minehead. Visitors may board a bus going in the wrong direction.
Buses in one direction go straight past the bus stop in order to turn around before serving the bus stop. Locals know this, but visitors can be misled. Better signage required.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 09:27:27 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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