Low Carbon Transport Scenarios - What Do They Do for Wider Sustainability Impacts? Lessons from Oxfordshire
R Hickman, Halcrow and Oxford University, UK; C Seaborn, O Ashiru, Halcrow, UK; J Clegg, R O'Neill, Oxfordshire County Council, UK
This paper develops a number of low carbon scenarios to 2030 in Oxfordshire and assesses the wider sustainability impacts. It explores the strategic policy tensions evident in local transport and urban planning.
The next round of transport strategy development and implementation, in the form of Local Transport Plans (LTP3), is currently being developed across England. One of the major strategic and topical issues to be addressed is the reduction of transport dioxide (CO2) emissions on an area-wide basis. Local Authorities need to contribute to the UK target of an 80% reduction in cross-sectoral emissions by 2050 on a 1990 base. There is a major evidence gap on this topic. It is likely to be difficult to achieve significant reductions in transport CO2 emissions; little is known about the wider economic, social and local environmental impacts of low carbon pathways; or the differential impacts spatially. Carbon reduction needs to be achieved within the context of wider sustainability objectives.
This paper reports on work being developed in Oxfordshire as part of the LTP3. It develops a number of low carbon scenarios to 2030 and assesses the wider sustainability impacts (using WebTAG sub-criteria, covering economic, social and local environmental metrics). The analysis is carried out for the city of Oxford, the surrounding market towns and smaller towns, and rural areas.
Different packages of measures are selected for Oxfordshire and scenarios assembled which optimise low carbon and wider sustainability aspirations. A simulation model is developed to help explore and discuss the strategic policy choices and tensions evident for decision-makers involved in local transport planning. The paper argues for a ?strategic conversation? at the local authority level ? based upon future scenario analysis ? discussing the priorities for intervention in delivering sustainable transport futures. In an era of financial restraint, the rigorous and transparent appraisal of investment choices becomes increasingly important.
Association for European Transport