Becoming a Zero Emission Transport City

Councillor Don Alexander stands, smiling, with the trees of College Green behind him.
Today’s blog is by Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport
and Labour Councillor for Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston

As the sector that contributes the most to Bristol’s emissions, transport has a major role to play in meeting the challenges of becoming a net zero city by 2030.

We must increase the share of trips taken by public transport, cycling and walking, making these more active modes of travel the first choice for all who can take them and reduce car use and other road traffic around the city.

Earlier this month cabinet accepted a grant of £500,000 awarded by the Department for Transport for a Zero Emission Transport City programme, which is being administered locally by the West of England Combined Authority.

The funding will give us the opportunity to carry out a series of feasibility studies examining how we can accelerate plans to decarbonise Bristol’s transport network.

Work will take place over five areas: demand management, electrification, freight consolidation, communities, and strategic corridors.

These areas have been selected using evidence gathered to inform our One City Climate Strategy and Joint Local Transport Plan.

Our feasibility studies will focus on where we can add value to existing plans, trial and innovate new approaches, and ramp up current initiatives, demonstrating practical and effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. 

Some of the options we will be exploring are:

  • reducing emissions from transport in the city centre, focusing on locations such as the Old City, Broadmead, Cabot Circus and Queen Square
  • working with operators on the electrification of 250 city buses
  • installing 1,000 on-street cycle hangers across the city
  • greater use of freight consolidation centres
  • investing in last mile solutions, such as e-cargo bikes, for the city centre as well as local neighbourhoods.  

More projects that will be investigated include installing charging points at council-run car parks and popular destinations, speeding up the rollout of mobility hubs that pool shared transport providers at a single location, developing a new Bristol Cycling Centre in Lawrence Weston, and progressing a new park and ride for the M32.

Work will take place over the next six to nine months on the feasibility studies so that business cases can be created for these ambitious projects. 

We will be unable to deliver these proposals alone. Being one of only three cities in the country to be successful in joining the programme, the Department for Transport will offer advice from their analytical, financial and economic experts. We will also seek support and partnership from other stakeholders across the city. Together with this investment and support, we will look at how we can deliver a Zero Emission Transport City for Bristol.