Why the STBs are working together to reduce carbon emissions

May 19th 2022

In the run-up to theSub-national Transport Body conference on May 26, EEH's decarbonisation and innovation manager, James Golding-Graham outlines our collaboration on working towards net zero.

More blogs from other STB colleagues are on the STB conference website.

England’s seven sub-national transport bodies are working together more closely than ever before.

A great example of this is in our joint working on sharing best practice on cutting transport emissions, a workstream led by England’s Economic Heartland.

By sharing experience, technical approach and knowledge we’re able to better support our local partners in their approach to delivering the UK’s net zero targets for transport.

It may seem an obvious thing to highlight but our people and places are all different and need to be treated as such. Our STB geographies cover diverse places, big cities, rural England’s county towns and villages, high peaks and coastlines.

We need to make sure that net zero is delivered equitably and works for everyone, ensuring the right solutions are applied in our communities and places.

It's not a simple task. Even with the complex models that transport planers are so fond of, it can be challenging to understand what will work in a specific area. Together, the STBs are trying to simplify the choices that our authority partners will need to make. Through our ongoing work on net zero we aim to provide authorities with better tools, data and understanding so they can make the best decisions for their places.

The DfT has recently published a tool kit that provides some great high-level ideas for local authorities to consider. There are clear examples and and links to case studies – particularly highlighting the significant role that behaviour change will need to play in the transition.

This a good first step, but the STBs (with support from the DfT) will go further, providing quantifiable, evidence-based assumptions with real numbers relating to the impacts of interventions, outlining the impact of policy and programmes that will deliver the UK’s carbon targets.

We’re only able to do this through enhancing our partnership working and bringing together the collective knowledge of our STB officers. It’s a genuinely exciting time – and a real step forward in understanding what the right policies will be for our places.

Clearly, this work alone won’t resolve our challenges.

For example, a consistent, national approach to demand management and how we pay for and fund transport is required; the seven STBs are well placed to support government in developing this.

The STBs work will help to further explain and plan for the scale of action that our partners need to take and will deliver better value for money for UK taxpayers. Working together with communities business and with each other is the only way we can address the challenges of reaching net zero - there’s no time to waste.