This dynamic sector group has been gaining momentum and meeting regularly. The group is a broad mix of community organisations, local authorities, and regional transport institutions, all driven by a shared commitment to shape the future of transportation in Cumbria.
Transport for the North, along with both local authorities, is actively collaborating on the forthcoming Local Transport Plans for the new authorities. Within the sector group, discussions have centred on strategic approaches to transport planning aligned with the net-zero plans.
The sector group’s focus revolves around the “reduce – shift – improve” hierarchy, a roadmap for reducing emissions. This approach aims to reduce the demand for vehicle travel wherever possible, shift to more sustainable travel modes where possible, and improve the overall transport and transport infrastructure, making it cleaner and more efficient.
Recent meetings have focussed on critical areas, including opportunities to decrease private car travel among visitors, the concept of “15-minute neighbourhoods,” enhancements to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the promotion of active travel. The group is actively exploring community schemes for carpooling and carsharing, as well as advocating for improved public and community transport solutions.
The unique geography of Cumbria presents challenges in terms of improving public transport and reducing reliance on private cars. However, the group is thinking creatively, considering all possibilities to reduce emissions by minimising journeys and transitioning to cleaner transportation options. Their commitment extends to ensuring that this transition is both equitable and accessible to all residents.
Much like the Consumption, Waste, and Circular Economy group, this sector recognises the importance of robust messaging and education. They understand that behaviour changes are pivotal in encouraging shifts in travel habits towards more sustainable options.