Reacting to the publication of Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, Maria Machancoses, CEO of Midlands Connect, said:
“This decisive strategy is what we’ve been waiting for, and demonstrates Government’s commitment to building a cleaner, greener and more sustainable transport network. Policymakers must now work with industry and the private sector to develop a comprehensive delivery plan to make sure change happens.”
“Now we know the plan, we must take action to accelerate the roll out of alternative fuels, and install the infrastructure needed to support a commercial fleet of hydrogen, biofuel and electric vehicles. Come 2040 we will need a comprehensive alternative fuelling network in place to keep food on our shelves, parts in our factories and goods in our stores; I’m confident we have the expertise, manufacturing ability and R&D capability in the transport industry to make that happen.”
“A zero-emission rail network can only be achieved through widespread electrification, we’ve stalled on this for too long – it’s now time to move ahead with development and delivery of a pipeline of projects, starting with the full electrification of the Midland Main Line, and other priority routes across the country. Once Government confirms what parts of the rail network will be electrified and which will be serviced by hydrogen and battery-powered trains, it will give suppliers the certainty they need to invest and hire skilled staff, keeping costs down.”
The industry and the Midlands
“We know that decarbonising our transport network is essential in achieving our target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, and that so far we’ve lagged behind other industries. In the past 30 years the energy industry has reduced its carbon emissions by 62 per cent, whereas the transport industry has only managed a 5 per cent reduction. There is much to do but today’s release of the strategy is an important and critical milestone as we look to meet the challenge ahead.
“The Midlands is home to the biggest cluster of rail and automotive businesses in the UK, this announcement is great news for the region, and will support the creation of highly skilled jobs in the transport sector. Our region was home to the first industrial revolution and can now be at the heart of a green revolution.”