Energy and carbon savings with trams – a short paper by Professsor Lewis Lesley

“Getting urban car trips down from 70% to 50% would save about 5% of UK carbon emissions.”

Transport is an energy intensive activity, heavily dependent on oil (99.97%) and a significant emitter of carbon dioxide (30% of UK total). Exhortation and education can reduce car dependency but in the absence of draconian powers to force people to change travel modes, people will freely choosing sustainable alternatives is surely the best way? Market research and behavioural studies demonstrate that for short journeys, under 2 miles (50% UK car trips) walking and cycling are acceptable options, when there are safe and attractive routes. For longer urban journeys ( < 5 miles = 75% of UK car trips) public transport should be the alternative to car ? In the UK most urban public transport is by bus (80% of trips). Car users however are not willing to use buses. Studies by the US Transportation Research Board shows that on a like for like basis of frequency, travel speed, fares etc, buses attract 40% less car users than even old rail services

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