PSE365: How can we decarbonise transport in the public sector

When we consider decarbonisation in the public sector, transport is going to be a key function of it. At our PSE365 virtual event on Public Sector Decarbonisation, delivered in association with Liberty Charge, a highly engaging panel discussion provided the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject of transport decarbonisation.

For one of the panellists, Shamala Evan-Gadgil, Programme Manager Transport, Infrastructure & Innovation at Coventry City Council, explained how the bus network has been their key target when aiming to deliver greater net-zero transportation.

Shamala explained: “Coventry is going to be an all-electric bus city by 2025.

“We haven’t really gone down the route of zero emission zones or such. We’ve instead gone a different route, looking at bus priority measures, working with the bus operators, and with our transport body, Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM).

“Making it as easy as possible for users to use these services is probably what is going to make them use public transport.”

Convenience for end users is a key part of achieving success for a range of decarbonisation efforts, with elsewhere in Oxfordshire County Council, EV charging being a direction of focus – but again relying on making sure it is convenient and effective for all residents across the region.

Jenny Figueiredo, EV Charging Project Manager at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Specifically for our team, we’re all about the transition to electric vehicles, focusing on the infrastructure to allow our residents to make the switch to EV.

“In particular, we’re targeting the 30-40% of people who are not able to simply install a home charger, as they may not have access to a driveway or similar. We’re looking at options to still allow kerbside charging.

“We’re also looking county wide, so it’s not just Oxford city centre which has EV infrastructure, but the towns and villages can benefit too.”

Conversations on the panel similarly touched on freight and construction emissions, travel plans and other regional and local examples of successful initiatives.

Making up the panel were:

  • Claire Fleming, Travel Plan Officer at Swindon Borough Council
  • Shamala Evan-Gadgil, Programme Manager Transport, Infrastructure & Innovation at Coventry City Council
  • James Peet, Associate Consultant - Sustainability & Climate Change at WSP
  • Cllr Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor at Leicester City Council
  • Jenny Figueiredo, EV Charging Project Manager at Oxfordshire County Council

Today’s panel discussion will be available to watch on demand within the PSE365 event platform.

There’s still time to tune in to today’s PSE365 further decarbonisation discussions too. Register to attend to the virtual event here.

PSE December/January 2024

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Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.
 

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:
 

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”
 

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:
 

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”
 

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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