How Can We Encourage Sustainable Travel?

An e-bike is a great option for sustainable travel.

This is a list of ideas for encouraging people to switch to more sustainable modes of travel. I would welcome ideas to add to the list. If you cannot download the document attached, please let me know.

The document above is the meagre contribution to the Decarbonising Transport discussion from our Transition Town group. Please feel free to comment or message if I’ve missed anything or if other ideas could be added.

Cyclist in Traffic

Current road design is too car-centric, new pop-up cycle lanes and widened footpaths are welcome but much more is needed and changes need to be permanent. People are much more willing to change so we need to make the best use of that:

De-regulated Public Transport struggles to be competitive, so some re-regulation is needed, but also real-time information provision (particularly in rural areas) and even bus stop design could really improve our perception of the service.

The car culture traps us into a vicious circle. Add our dislike of changing habits and pressure to stick to social norms. Also designing roads to provide for predicted traffic growth, without suitable provision for cyclists and pedestrians traps us into ever increasing CO2 emissions too.

Providing ever more roads does not reduce emissions or congestion. Induced traffic ensures that congestion will always fill that new capacity. Even if we switch a significant proportion of people to Public Transport and active travel, it seems other traffic will still fill the road capacity with congestion (cf Netherlands per-capita transport emissions with our own! – graph in above document).


Simply providing extra capacity for cycling alongside our current network won’t be enough to reduce emissions. Rebound effects will also ensure that the amount of fuel consumed will not reduce without some form of constraint.

Provide for only the traffic that we can cope with under our carbon legislation? Actively constrain traffic levels? Whether that be through a tax system like the RoadMiles scheme or through agreeing to leave traffic pinch points in place? Many solutions are suggested.

Whichever system is used strong fuel efficiency legislation will be needed (even for EV’s) and we need to buy smaller cars or just hire when really needed. Planning, air travel and deliveries (especially free next day delivery) all have their parts to play and some solutions are considered.

These types of solutions alongside providing significantly improved cycling and pedestrian provision and much better bus services could provide us with a future that we could all look forward to. #BuildBackBetter

Much better cycle tracks could get many more of us cycling

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