This week the UK government announced its plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles.
In principle that sounds like good news but given that outdoor air pollution in this country is linked to 40,000 early deaths a year in this country, why wait for more than 20 years to take action on a public health crisis?
Green party MP Caroline Lucas responded, in an article in The Guardian, by saying: “Ultimately we need a green transport revolution, not another tinker with a transport system that’s creaking. Let’s aim for towns and cities that are easily navigable by foot and bike, a fully electric and publicly owned train system that covers the country, and local public transport that’s a joy to use.”
Who better to bring us to the cusp of a green transport revolution than some of our recent Award winners who, between them, are tackling air pollution, improving the health of cities and connecting up communities.
Here are our favourite facts about a few of them:
- Nottingham City Council has one of the largest fleets of electric buses in Europe
- The Hangzhou Bicycle Service is the biggest public bike share scheme in the world
- Big Birmingham Bikes has linked up with over 50 community groups, including homeless and mental health charities, to provide free bikes and cycle training
- Cycle network Sustrans is 40 years old this year and last year completed its first series of cycling maps which cover the whole of the UK
- 2014 Award winner Ecotricity recently announced its first energy storage project whose peak output will be enough to power 1200 kettles at the same time
- Tisséo-SMTC – a government-funded organisation which manages the public transport in Toulouse – saw a phenomenal 80% increase in public transport journeys in just seven years
- Liftshare’s car pooling service is now used by more than half a million people in the UK and takes around 97 million miles off the road each year