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  • Wiltshire Climate Consultation: October 17, 2021
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Author Topic: Wiltshire Climate Strategy Consultation - transport element  (Read 638 times)
grahame
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« on: September 04, 2021, 07:45:02 am »

This week, Wiltshire's Climate Change Strategy consultation was launched from ((here))

Quote
From Wednesday 1 September [2021] to 23:59 on Sunday 17 October, people can comment on the draft strategy, which covers seven delivery themes: transport; built environment; waste; green economy; energy generation, storage and distribution; natural environment, food and farming; and carbon neutral council.

All themes are important - but as someone with a transport interest and some prior knowledge, I'm concentrating on that one.  Here is what the document has to say; my headline thoughts are below this quote. Document archived for future reference ((here)) for forum members.

Quote
Wiltshire Climate Strategy 2022 - 2027

From the forward

Our world is already changing around us, with increasing temperatures, extreme weather and risks to property, health, wildlife habitats, and food production. Climate change affects us all, but we also all have the power to do something about it.

[snip]

This will mean making changes to the way we all live our lives. New technology will help us to enjoy our lives without emitting carbon but this will need to be accompanied by changes in the way we do things.

Delivery theme - Transport

The UK (United Kingdom) Government’s recent Transport Decarbonisation Plan sets the scene for our approach to reaching net zero for transport. It is clear that in Wiltshire, a rural county where the car is currently the main travel mode, an important part of the picture will be electric or other zero emissions vehicles. We also want residents to be able to choose modes of travel such as cycling, walking, shared and public transport because they are convenient, affordable, green and inclusive.

Quick progress is essential, so we will need to act across all areas of focus simultaneously. The range of solutions available to us in Wiltshire means that buses will play a central role to our journeys, both in rural areas and more urban places. In towns and city the ideal is to be mostly car-free. Cycling and walking will increase and present us with a pleasant way to get around to shop, work, socialise, and enjoy improvements to our health, local environment and economy. Our Local Transport Plan will work out the best mix of solutions to help us achieve zero emissions.

Objectives

• To achieve a transport system in Wiltshire that has zero carbon emissions, acknowledging the different solutions for our towns and city versus rural villages.

• Creating the infrastructure for increased walking, cycling, shared and public transport and use of alternative fuels, including electric vehicle charging points

• Achieving high-quality, bus-based, public transport and transport hubs that offer a pleasant and convenient way to get around, and seamless combined journeys

• Locating and designing new developments to reduce the need to travel and provide more opportunities for people to travel by zero or low carbon transport modes, for work, leisure and errands

Sidebar

A zero carbon mobility and transport system will:

Avoid unnecessary travel – reducing the need to travel through digital options, rationalising & combining journeys and locating services, homes and jobs within reach

Shift to more sustainable modes of transport - achieving sustainable mobility and accessibility through public transport, walking and cycling, particularly in our towns and city

Improve vehicles and infrastructure - while hydrogen and other alternative fuels are being tested and developed, we know that electric vehicles need to be part of the immediate solution
 
Our areas of focus

Wiltshire Council will:

! Better understand our carbon baseline and the impact of different transport actions

! Develop a new Wiltshire Local Transport Plan, Local Plan and Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy that will set out plans and policies to achieve the vision for sustainable mobility and transport in Wiltshire

! Explore how the council can best support charging infrastructure to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles by Wiltshire residents and businesses, through Wiltshire Council’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy

! Produce Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for Wiltshire and the three major settlements

• Use planning powers and regeneration programmes to increase accessibility to local services and facilities, creating places that enable local living, and explore the potential for ‘20 minute’ neighbourhoods or similar concepts for Wiltshire

• Develop an ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan as required under the new National Bus Strategy. Central themes will be reducing carbon emissions through efficient buses and improved services

• Develop a Wiltshire Council travel plan: though commuting accounts for just 20% of journeys nationally, the council can address this for its 4,500 staff

Using our influence and partnerships we will:

! Develop a vision for sustainable mobility and transport in Wiltshire as a basis for the changes needed

! to achieve zero carbon travel. Encourage town councils to support existing Town Cycle Networks

• Support schools to develop green travel plans

• Develop an active travel network that is inclusive, safe and enjoyable to use, meets the latest design guidance and embraces new modes such as e-bikes. Routes should coincide with the Rights of Way network, canals, green open spaces and wildlife corridors where appropriate

• Ensure that infrastructure is resilient to the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, extreme heat and power outages

• Use all tools available such as government funded initiatives, behaviour change campaigns, and existing planning policy and guidance for good design to deliver zero carbon transport in Wiltshire set out in the emerging Local Transport Plan

• Work to further increase access to high-speed broadband, to enable digital options including home working, and encourage businesses to embrace these options

• Encourage recovery and ongoing support of the local economy, building on trends to shop local during the pandemic

• Promote local tourism as well as having a ‘green travel offer’ available for our visitors

• Work with parish and town councils and community groups to support car clubs, car sharing and community and public transport

• Explore the potential for local delivery hubs, and coordinated, low-carbon forms of transport for the last mile of deliveries in towns

• Work with partners to move to ultra-low emissions vehicles for public transport, and to carbon neutral fuels for heavy fleet vehicles

Here are my "early days" thoughts. You are very welcome to comment / share / form your own views.

* Lots of really good stuff there including buses - embracing the government's Bus Back Better strategy, Bus Service Improvement Plan, etc.  The Option 24/7 group looks forward to working further with Wiltshire Council on this - publication of the draft BSIP is imminent and we (speaking for that group) expect an ambitious and positive document; the devil will be in the detail of implementation.

* An understanding - even though we are public transport campaigners - that's it's not always the answer - "Is your journey really necessary" and "do you have to go that far" stuff.  Pleasure / quality of life journeys by all means, but let's access local services better, arrange our towns and cities to have such local services, and embrace the online economy and working from home, even where that lessens demand for buses or trains and may break their business case

* Disappointment that there is no mention of rail. At present, every single rail journey starting at a Wiltshire station does so under diesel power. Network Rail's decarbonising strategy suggests the electrification of all current passenger rail routes in Wiltshire (mostly in their "core" set too) and it would be appropriate for strategic support for this strategy to be included in Wiltshire's strategy; partnership is mentioned though the WC (Wiltshire Council (Unitary Authority)) document - just not this partnership as far as I can see.

* Transport section is also very light on talking about road building, even though WC has major ambitions relating to Melksham Bypass, Chippenham relief road, Yarnbrook, Stonehenge, and Westbury that I can think of.

* Good so see talk of last mile and combined journey elements. Looks good for a network to meet wide needs rather than a series of isolated routes which only join in a haphazard way.  This "Good to see" extends to the cycle and walking comments. I note e-bykes (I have one and very useful!) mentioned as the future. Somewhat controversial, I would like to see e-scooters in there; there are short term issues with their current use and regulation, but they offer a potentially fast and efficient way of getting around which should not be discounted based on early version issues.

* There is a section in the document - "How National Policy Supports our Strategy" and includes "national policy and legislation are a crucial enablers of action at a local level ..." excellent; we are to be team players and partnerships all headed (or at least planned!) to be headed in the same direction, working together.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2021, 09:06:59 am »

Being an old cynic
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Routes should coincide with the Rights of Way network, canals, green open spaces and wildlife corridors where appropriate
suggests to me that they don't intend to spend much on new routes.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2021, 02:06:27 pm »

Hopefully do better than the neighbours
https://road.cc/content/news/campaigners-criticise-somerset-cc-over-active-travel-286023
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2021, 07:27:40 am »

Being an old cynic
Quote
Routes should coincide with the Rights of Way network, canals, green open spaces and wildlife corridors where appropriate
suggests to me that they don't intend to spend much on new routes.

That can be read multiple ways - also sensible to improve and way mark the existing.  And it does mention "open spaces and wildlife corridors".  Perhaps it's saying "no demolition for new routes"; it also does not list brownfield sites, so no new routes across them??
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