How might our travel patterns change in the future?
Our travel choices have a significant impact on our towns and cities. They shape our collective quality of life, our health and our local environment.
With the launch of the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we ask Sara Sloman, Head of Future Mobility at Elmtronics, how our travel patterns could be set to change in the future.
"As a nation, we are commuting more than ever before.
Before Covid-19 struck, the average commuter was spending 59 minutes of their day getting to work and back. Time is precious and these statistics show that so much time is being wasted sitting behind a wheel, stuck in traffic and contributing to air pollution in our local area.
As someone who has worked in sustainable transport for most of my career, my brain is always looking for the best alternative to travel - weighing up the pros and cons of each journey and looking for better and smarter ways to do so. I find that using public transport helps me to reclaim some of my time back, allowing me to read a book or start some work. Many journeys that are undertaken by car could feasibly be made by other means - walking, cycling, e-bikes or scooters can help to replace those smaller journeys and alleviate the pressure on congestion which is the enemy of time. The key to Net Zero and decarbonising the transport sector, will lie in finding joy in the journey and on people taking more individual responsibility for their choices.
Only a couple of years ago, we saw cities, such as Bristol, declare a Climate Emergency. For many in the South West this was the biggest trigger of a decade. Reaching Net Zero will involve people making choices in line with their own priorities and needs. Whether these are business decisions, community decisions or individual preferences, all behaviour change stems from a trigger. A trigger from something that speaks to that person at that moment in time. For so many, the environment is an increasingly important trigger but for the masses it will be time, lifestyle or money. Perhaps they have moved house or increased the size of their family. Maybe a new job role or the new post covid society has changed their patterns of working behaviour or finances have meant living without a car became a viable option.
Where the challenge lies is the huge number of business vehicles and fleets on the road. There are many reasons why businesses still need to operate vehicles but the way in which these vehicles are fuelled needs to change rapidly, especially when paired with Clean Air Zones which will increase the cost of travel in those areas.
Here at Elmtronics, we believe in cleantech and growth. We have a huge amount of knowledge in the electric vehicle industry and provide modular, connected charging equipment that can help keep your vehicles on the road. Whether that’s business or individual drivers. We are also partnering across the supply chain, to support the forthcoming growth in EV fleet sales, and support infrastructure plans which allow for system change and acceleration as the years advance.
We understand that fleet review processes see a turnover of vehicles every three to five years, and cost anywhere from thousands to millions, but we are here to help. Through Action Net Zero, we hope to offer advice and guidance to many South-West based businesses and connect them to our partners who can help with the fleet review process."
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