ICT key to sustainable transport
The Government’s independent advisor, the Sustainable Development Commission, has published a report on greener travel. Smarter Moves proposes changes to reduce the 29% of UK carbon dioxide emissions emitted from transport, highlighting the role of information technology to reach a 14% reduction in transport related emissions by 2020.
Reducing travel needs and improving efficiency
According to the report, information technology can have significant benefits for health, society and the environment by reducing the need to travel, change driver behaviours and improve the efficiencies of transport networks. For example, ICT could be used to enforce speed limits, facilitate car sharing or ensure delivery vehicles are fully loaded and journeys are used to full potential.
However, the authors of the report are keen to point out that ICT, although beneficial, is not sufficient to reduce emissions alone and must be considered along with wider initiatives addressed in the SDC’s Mobility 2020 project. The report also points out the inequalities inherent in ICT, related to access and ease of use, stressing that appropriate measures would need to be considered to ensure equal access to ICT related to travel.
Encouraging low emission vehicles
The report follows the Department for Transport’s own publication, Low carbon transport: a greener future. In this, the DfT outlines plans for low emission vehicles by 2022, through price incentives, increased infrastructure and investment in new technologies, such as electric vehicles.
The report also outlines initiatives targeted to encourage more sustainable forms of transport, such as integration of public transport options and 18 cycling towns and cities across England. More details of the implementation of these plans will be released in Spring 2010.
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