Professor John Whitelegg, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Integrated Transport
- On 2nd February 2021, Herefordshire Council cancelled the Hereford Bypass on climate change, cost and the availability of more effective non-road building alternatives to achieve wider Council objectives including the reduction of congestion in Hereford.
- The Herefordshire recognition that building new roads does not pass climate change, cost and the availability of alternatives test is not evident across all local authorities. In reply to a Freedom of Information request dated 4thAugust 2020 the DfT supplied a list of all the approved Large Local Major (LLM) road schemes. The total cost of these schemes was £6.986 billion (Note 1).
- New roads are recognised as a significant source of additional carbon emissions (Sloman and Hopkinson, 2020; Mottschall and Bergmann, 2013, Chester and Horvath, 2009).
In the century since cars came on the scene, car culture has become so ingrained that it is hardly noticed. But its negative impact on the way we live, our health, the environment and public space is immense and intensifying. The number of registered vehicles on UK roads has risen from 20 million in 1991 to 38.3 million in 2020. More than three quarters of traffic on UK roads are private cars and taxis.
The Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) will make campaigns against the car and its domination of our culture its main theme for 2021.
The Foundation for Integrated Transport is pleased to announce the appointment of five new trustees, Mat Bonomi, Mark Frost, Lisa Hopkinson, Rebecca Lush and Alex Norton to its board. These appointments bring diverse skills and experience to strengthen the Foundation’s unique role in supporting and delivering solutions for sustainable transport.
Alastair Hanton, Secretary of the Foundation said: “These appointments not only bring excellent people onto our board but also improve its gender, age and geographical balance.”
Mat Bonomi has built a 10 plus year career in a variety of roles in both Australia and the United Kingdom across the public, private and charity sector with a focus on ‘rebalancing’ our car centric places and lifestyles. With formal education in both transport planning and economics, Mat is an optimistic urbanist with a passion for how transport can impact and increase the health and happiness of our cities. He is currently Head of Transport & Access at the Royal Parks.
Mat said: “I am thrilled to be invited to join the Foundation of Integrated Transport as a trustee and look forward to playing a role in creating a more equitable and prosperous transport system for all.”
Mark Frost is an experienced local government professional to assistant director level, now Director of Fern Consulting Services providing support to clients on strategic transport planning; regeneration and placemaking; environmental strategy; traffic and parking policy; supporting regional networks and public sector staff capacity building. Mark is a Chartered Transport Planning Professional (CTPP), board member of the Transport Planning Society, Vice President of the Local Government Technical Advisors Group and a Future London Leaders graduate, with a wider interest in effective altruism and charity governance.
Mark said: “I’m delighted to have been accepted onto the board of trustees at FIT. After over a decade and half working at a senior level in local government, I’m keen to start using the understanding and experience I have gained in that time to support individuals and organisations working to develop a more sustainable transport network – as well as one that also helps address, rather than entrench, inequality and social exclusion.”
Lisa Hopkinson is an environmental scientist by training with a keen professional and personal interest in sustainable transport. She has wide-ranging experience having worked for the private sector, charities, a thinktank, and a university. She is currently self-employed as a freelance researcher and is an Associate of Transport for Quality of Life. She has also been an active volunteer over the last 30 years with numerous grassroots organisations and national NGOs, promoting sustainable travel and opposing car-based developments and road building.
Lisa said: “I think that FIT plays a unique and valuable role supporting grassroots campaigns and campaigners. I am delighted to become a trustee and contribute to their vision of a world where people can live decently without a car.”
Rebecca Lush is a life-long environmental campaigner, specialising in transport activism. She played a leading part in many of the prominent campaigns against roadbuilding in the 1990s, including the Twyford Down and Newbury Bypass protests. She attended the first UN COP climate talks in Berlin in 1995; established Road Block in 2005, an alliance of community groups against the new roads programme; and became the first Roads and Climate Campaigner for Campaign for Better Transport in 2007. She had a brief interlude from 2012, working for Lush UK managing their charitable giving, assessing and approving donations. She has now returned to her original passion, becoming the Local Campaigns Support Officer for the newly formed Transport Action Network in 2020.
Rebecca said: “I am honoured to become a Trustee for the Foundation for Integrated Transport. I would like to draw upon my history of transport campaigning and grant making to support the important work of the Foundation. As well as funding high quality research, I hope to help the Foundation to support the many hard working community groups who are campaigning to improve their local transport and environment. They are needed now more than ever.”
Alex Norton is an entrepreneurial IT professional with over 25 years of experience predominantly within finance and payments sector. A nephew of Simon Norton, he is keen to continue the work started by his uncle in promoting and campaigning for better sustainable transport and the reduction of transport poverty.
Alex said: “I am thrilled to become a trustee for FIT and help deliver my uncle’s vision.”
Open letter to the Rt Hon Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport on urgent measures to deal with climate change
Dear Mr Shapps,
The government of the United Kingdom is fully committed to do as much as possible to maximise our contribution to carbon reduction and make a significant contribution to eliminating the threats posed by climate change.
When I was a student in the late 1960s studying economic geography as part of an excellent degree programme in the Department of Geography at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth we were told that land was a valuable commodity and also finite. It was also a factor of production and great care was needed to optimise its use and factor in land costs as part of a wider optimisation and the creation of an economic system that made best use of all inputs. The cost of land was an important consideration in public and private decision-taking.
More than 100 local road schemes are currently being promoted and, in most cases, part-funded by local authorities. These are included in a Department for Transport (DfT) list of Major Road Network and Large Local Majors schemes, provided in a response to a Freedom of Information request.
by John Whitelegg, FIT’s Transport and Climate Change Fellow
The discussion around transport decarbonisation and the importance of reducing transport’s CO2 emissions is increasingly focussed on electric vehicles, the provision of charging infrastructure and substantial public funds to encourage the switch from petrol and diesel to zero carbon alternatives.
Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 is not good enough to deal with climate change
by John Whitelegg, FIT’s Transport and Climate Change Fellow
The Prime Minister wants to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
Overlooking for a moment the impact this will have on the fleet as a whole in 2030 and the degree to which sales of non-fossil fuel vehicles after 2030 will contribute to decarbonisation, it still misses what is needed to decarbonise transport. It is not fast enough, early enough and big enough to help achieve our climate ambitions.
Covid-19 has had terrible consequences. It has also turned the transport agenda upside-down, showing that major change is possible, necessary and desirable. The government is investing in active travel and safety is crucial to encouraging more people to walk and cycle. This PACTS report, funded by Foundation for Integrated Transport, calls on the government to adopt new analysis that highlights danger, not vulnerability, and the vehicles that most put others’ lives at risk.