This is your chance to respond to the new Hull Transport Plan consultation [1] (deadline 30th May), and having submitted my own response here are my thoughts:

What do we want for our city? This?
Or this?
  1. We are becoming increasingly car dependent but it is not being tackled by the new plan.  I was shocked to discover after analysis that with a 16% increase in Co2 emissions related to transport, Hull is the second worst performing local authority in England (2010 to 2019, [2]).  Given the 39% increase in car mileage over the same period it is easy to come to the conclusion that the two are related[3].  We are driving too much!  At no point are these statistics mentioned in any of the documents, nor the recent Carbon Pathway to Carbon Neutrality paper[4], which initiates the plan for Hull to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 and NET0 by 2045.  The data for transport is hidden within the overall carbon emissions.
  1. Build a bigger road- get a bigger car problem.  The only fully funded scheme in the plan is the A63 Castle Street improvement.  Whilst I recognise that this is being funded by the national transport budget, such a scheme is very car focussed.  There has been much peer reviewed research on the induced demand effect (since the 1960s in fact this has been a proven phenomenon).  Increase the size or number of roads and the level of congestion will just return to the same levels in a few years.    I link to a few example articles, in case you are interested[5].    The car focussed nature of planning is exemplified by the large multi-story car park built on Humber street.  The council (and businesses) are sending out the wrong messages.
  2. Active travel could be a much bigger focus.  Whilst some of the schemes that have been implemented have merit (I personally find it much easier to cycle along certain routes like Beverley Road or Ferensway), there is much more to be done.  We are a very flat and compact city (which is mentioned in the consultation documents and previous plan),  so there is no reason why we could not be an exemplar in cycling and active travel.   I recommend taking a look at the Propensity to Cycle tool[6] for inspiration, as given the terrain in Hull there is an opportunity to have a cycling rate of 38% if we follow a Dutch based model.  Regardless, since the 2001 census the cycling rate has dropped from 12% to 8.5%[7] we need to do much better!  There are multiple co-benefits of greater active travel – health, exercise, sociability, even if saving the planet is not a key objective.  Especially as the cost of living continues to rise, reducing car travel will also save money too.
  3. Can we be more innovative?  Whilst I understand that road pricing is not necessarily popular, I do believe we need to be more radical in our approach to tackle the severity of the problem.  It has worked in Nottingham, where the Workplace Parking Levy was used to fund an integrated tram and park and ride system.  Congestion charges have worked in other cities to pay for improved public transport.  Exemptions could apply for anyone who genuinely needs to use their car (e.g. disability etc).    Given the increase in road traffic emissions, can we afford not to be taking this type of approach for the benefit of the future generations?
  4. More integration please.  As there is a level of commuting from E Riding Villages (Cottingham, Anlaby, Hessle, Hedon) a much more integrated network needs to be established to ensure a smooth flow of movement- whether that be as part of the integrated tram/park and ride, or active travel routes.

I do understand that budgets and funding are tight, but given Transport stands at 31% of the overall Co2 emissions by sector[2], we need to be doing a lot more to stand a chance of hitting our NET 0 targets.   The Government’s recent levelling up white paper suggests that regions outside of London and the SE are falling behind, so perhaps this is our opportunity to stand up and be counted.  Rather than settle for the status quo, let Hull lead the way! 


References:

[1] Hull’s Local Transport Plan 2021-2026.  From:  https://www.hull.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/consultation-and-feedback/consultations-and-surveys

[2] [Analysis completed on data from:  UK local authority and regional carbon dioxide emissions national statistics: 2005 to 2019. Available from: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/723c243d-2f1a-4d27-8b61-cdb93e5b10ff/uk-local-authority-and-regional-carbon-dioxide-emissions-national-statistics-2005-to-2019

[3] Analysis completed on data from: Road Traffic Statistics. [online] [accessed 17th April 2022] Available from: https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/local-authorities/169

[4] Carbon Pathway to Carbon Neutrality and Zero Carbon.  Available from: https://cmis.hullcc.gov.uk/cmis/CalendarofMeetings/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/9358/Committee/3/Default.aspx

[5] Example articles on induced demand: 

Hymel, K., 2019. If you build it, they will drive: Measuring induced demand for vehicle travel in urban areas. Transport policy, 76, pp.57-66.

Næss, P., Nicolaisen, M.S. and Strand, A., 2012. Traffic forecasts ignoring induced demand: a shaky fundament for cost-benefit analyses. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 12(3), pp.291-309.

Go to:  Measuring induced demand for vehicle travel in urban areas – Google Scholar

[6] Analysis for data download from:  Propensity to Cycle tool. Available from:  https://www.pct.bike/m/?r=humberside

[7] Local Transport Plan 2020-2026. from: https://www.hull.gov.uk/parking-and-transport/cycling-and-walking/local-transport-plan-2020-2026?msclkid=e21dd4a9ab5d11ec8972fe0e17bf57fa

One thought on “39% increase in car mileage, 16% increase in transport related Co2 emissions: does the new local transport plan do enough?

  1. Brilliant blog and genuinely upsetting to hear we’re getting more car dependent – especially after the pandemic gave us all a taste of what it would be like with fewer vehicles on the roads. The Green Corridor provides a lovely, leafy shortcut between Princes Avenue and Beverley Road for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as encouraging urban biodiversity. Cycle lanes are good, but ideally we need a network of car-free Green Corridors across the city to encourage nervous cyclists and optimise the health benefits for all. Definitely need more innovative solutions!

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