Highways England start net zero plan & ignores vital topic: Highways England has reported a new plan to reaching net zero by 2050 – however the strategy ignores to recommend less driving could assist in cutting emissions.
At the center of its policy is reaching net zero for its own operations by 2030, carrying out net zero road maintenance & construction by 2040 as well as a target to ‘support’ net zero journeys on its roads by 2050.
Highways England has pledged to producing more electricity through renewable energy, and delivering a 75% reduction in its own carbon emissions by 2025 by way of a 2017 baseline.
It has vowed to change to LED lighting, make its fleet EV & plant as much as 3 million trees by 2030.
Throughout the next 4 years, it hopes to supply more charging infrastructure on its network, train its Traffic Officers for disturbance recovery involving electric vehicles (EVs) & publish a blueprint to demonstrate how EV charging should be supplied on motorways.
It further agreed to build a zero-carbon 2040 plan for cement, concrete & asphalt by this next year.
The plan provides for Highways England’s own emissions however it does not investigate the possibility to encourage less driving & additional active forms of transport – this choice is somehow ignored as a way to lower emissions. Petrol cars will be slowly taken away from roads & replaced by EVs way before 2050, but this is the time the organisation has set its deadline to ‘support’ net zero journeys on its roads.
Transport made 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019. In this regard, the majority (91%) originated from road transport vehicles, along with the largest contributors being cars & taxis.
Nick Harris, Acting Chief Executive of Highways England, stated: “Today roads are a convenient, efficient & low-cost way to travel which is why 9 out of 10 passenger miles & 79% of all freight moves on roads. Our plans set out how emissions from our own operations, our construction & our customers will reduce over the coming years.”
Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister, added: “We know that transport is the biggest emitter of carbon emissions, which is why I’m pleased to see that Highways England are setting out a roadmap which will clean up our air as we build back greener.
“This comes just days after the government unveiled its ‘Transport Decarbonisation Plan’, setting out our plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”
Highways England start net zero plan & ignores vital topic