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Manchester Mayor's Green Summit sets out bold proposals

Thu 29 March 2018 | Back to news list


Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has set out a number of green transport proposals for the region at a landmark Green Summit on 21 March. The summit brought together environmental experts, interest groups, partner agencies, academics and local people to discuss Greater Manchester’s green ambitions. The GMCA aims to work with central government to deliver those things that require national action such decarbonising the national grid and transport infrastructure.

The city-region is exploring radical proposals that include building zero carbon homes, an emissions-free bus fleet, doubling the provision of charging points for electric vehicles, a Greater Manchester energy company, and a plastic-free city-region campaign.

Andy Burnham said: “A carbon-neutral city-region needn’t be some far-off ambition, the reality is that we can’t afford to wait; climate change is happening now. A green future is there for the taking if we just take that first step to go for it. For Greater Manchester, today is that first big step."

The current target is for Greater Manchester to reduce emissions by 80-90% by 2050 (from 1990), in line with the UK’s target, but local leaders, including the Mayor, want to bring that target closer by at least a decade to mitigate climate change and capitalise on the economic opportunities presented by the renewable energy industry.

 The summit looked at a number of proposals including within transport:

  • Move to an emissions-free bus fleet and, if possible, speed up the process using new bus powers available to Mayors.
  • Establish a new public-sector-led commercial model for the Greater Manchester electric vehicle charging network this year and double the size of the present system.
  • Transform cycling and walking in the city-region by investing up to £50m per year for three years from 2019/20, supporting Chris Boardman’s ground-breaking ‘Made to Move’ report.
  • Develop, this year, a Greater Manchester Infrastructure Strategy to include energy, digital, transport, waste, waste water and natural environment infrastructure.

Following his election, the Mayor had announced his ambitions for making Greater Manchester one of the leading green cities in Europe. 

The LowCVP will be hosting its 'Moving North': Reducing transport emissions in the Northern Powerhouse Conference in Manchester on 12th April at the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. 

In related news, following the release and consultation on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan's draft transport strategy in June 2017, the Mayors 2018 transport strategy was published to the London Assembly this month. The plan aims for 80 per cent of trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041.‎ It includes record investment in new and improved rail, tube and bus services, significant focus on walking and cycling, and a commitment to make the entire transport system zero-emission by 2050.

The strategy will particularly focus on air quality improvements in the capital to be delivered through a phased ‘Healthy Streets’ approach, building on the forthcoming introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone. This includes creating Low Emission Bus zones, zero emission areas in town centres from 2020 and in central London from 2025, larger zero emission zones in inner London by 2040 and London-wide by 2050. TfL will lead with the aim that all taxis and PHVs will be zero emission capable by 2033 and buses will be zero emission by 2037.


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