The ECS provides a thorough study of the economic issues in the Peninsula and the strategic transport corridors which form the backbone of the transport network. It is the first building block in preparing a Transport Strategy for the Peninsula.
Peninsula Transport Chair, Cllr Geoff Brown, says: “The ECS highlights the importance of these connections in bringing people together, helping trade and supporting clean growth in our economy. We are looking at what we need to do to ensure that our transport network is fit for the future.”
The report highlights the unique geography and demographics in the Peninsula and the fact that a few, critical, transport corridors support much of the area’s economic activity. It describes the challenges of a growing, ageing population, the scale of the challenge moving towards net zero carbon emissions, the potential impact of the growth of zero emission and autonomous vehicles and the impact of new technologies. It also notes that continuing to manage travel in the way we do now for the next 30 years is not sustainable and would have a major impact on the environment, lead to capacity issues and less reliable journey times.
Five major themes are identified:
- Decarbonisation – getting to zero emissions
- Digitisation – harnessing the opportunities of new technology
- Flexible lifestyles – increased choice in where we work and travel
- The world of work – expansion of key sectors within the economy
- Urbanisation – managing clean growth in key locations
“Decarbonisation is a key issue for us,” said Geoff Brown. “All of the local authorities within Peninsula Transport have declared a climate emergency and transport is central to us being able to reduce carbon emissions. We need to reduce the CO2 emissions of every trip by: encouraging more people to walk, cycle and use public transport; making vehicles more efficient; encouraging better driving and having more passengers in each vehicle. Alongside these, we need to find measures which reduce the demand to travel. Covid 19 is already having impacts here, with more people working from home, fewer trips out and more people walking and cycling.
Vice Chair, Cllr Andrea Davis added: “The Peninsula is currently facing a period of unprecedented challenge and we have seen a significant change in the way people are working and travelling. The rapid shift to working from home for many businesses during Covid 19 has highlighted how many industries are less dependent on the geographic location of their workforce. The Peninsula has a stunning environment, attractive to both new businesses and visitors to the area every year and our strengths in the digital sector and knowledge economy means we are well placed to support a greener economic recovery with improved productivity and better social outcomes
The next step for Peninsula Transport will be to develop a high level Transport Strategy for the Peninsula which is due to be completed this year. The full report and a summary version can be found at www.peninsulatransport.org.uk/strategy/economic-connectivity