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Net Zero plans must consider rural communities

A transport body has argued that a one-size-fits-all approach to net zero carbon emissions is likely to have disproportionate societal effects on rural communities, according to trade publications Fleet Point and UK Haulier

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s latest report, The challenge of future carbon and emissions reduction for rural communities, states that rural communities may be left behind if consideration is not given to these areas on the road to net zero carbon by 2035.

The papers discuss what makes the rural environment unique, meaning it requires different consideration in policy-making.

The report highlights a number of challenges and opportunities for the logistics and transport sector in rural areas:

  • In rural areas, rail and bus operations can be difficult to economically stack up, and so rural locations may be more suited to on-demand services. Linking shared services alongside electric infrastructure support could allow for better connectivity to health, education and employment at a lower environmental cost.
  • Vans have been an increasing feature of online deliveries and are also traditionally used for servicing and other businesses. There are decarbonisation opportunities with widespread electrification so long as the rural infrastructure is in place.
  • In many rural areas, tourism is a major contributor to the economy. Tourist traffic has characteristics that may need different solutions. Removing traffic congestion caused by visitor travel will not only help deliver on carbon targets, but also make the area more attractive to live in, work in and visit. Summer 2021 will be a good test of tourism-related transport as we take UK holidays instead of overseas. Mobility hubs could be at the heart of successful and sustainable decarbonisation, combining people and goods movements and driving up economics of scale.
  • The recent trends towards home working and moving out of cities may well change some of the dynamics of rural transport.

Full articles:

Fleet Point - Net Zero plans must consider rural communities

UK Haulier - Net Zero plans must consider rural communities, says leading professional body for logistics and transport

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