YP Letters: Transport strategy ignores wake-up call on climate change

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From: Chris Broome, Sheffield Climate Alliance, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

IT was very encouraging to read four letters published (The Yorkshire Post, October 11), all supporting much greater action on climate change.

Railfuture’s Nina Smith makes a particularly important point that the latest UN climate report should be “a wake-up call to governments, corporate bodies and individuals”.

Two bodies that are seriously over-sleeping are Transport for the North (TfN) and our own Government. Both have a very different vision to Railfuture’s.

TfN will unveil its finalised Strategic Transport Plan in December. This seems likely to be little changed from the draft version which envisages an increase in road traffic by between 26 and 54 per cent.

YP Letters: Wake-up call for action on climate change

TfN has sought to justify this increase by pointing out that its estimates of total CO2 emissions from all these vehicles is marginally less than what the Department for Transport (DfT) has “budgeted” for.

But the Committee on Climate Change wrote to the DfT on October 11, saying national policies for road transport are insufficient to meet future emissions targets. The letter highlights “the urgent need for stronger policies to reduce growth in demand for travel”.

Then, just days afterwards, the Government formally requested the CCC’s advice on when to set a zero-carbon target for the whole economy. This move, while lacking the urgency needed, is designed to drive even more ambitious climate action.

Sheffield Climate Alliance calls on TfN and the Government to radically change their transport strategies. In common with Railfuture and many other campaign groups, we want to see a major shift towards electrified railways for longer journeys. Local transport, such as bus services, warrants much greater priority too.

From: Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Leeds.

I CAN’T help thinking that Dick Lindley (The Yorkshire Post, October 20) is somewhat naive if he believes that shale gas will provide cheap energy for decades to come. The same was said about North Sea gas in the 1980s yet the cost never came down.

As with North Sea gas, the price will stay high with much of it exported to make a ‘quick buck’ for the shareholders and the gas fields will be exhausted within a few years. It is also worth noting that there have been several minor earth tremors within just a few days of the recent start of fracking near Blackpool. I would like to be proved wrong.