Net Zero Transport Update – August 2022

Text: Newcastle City Council declared a Climate emergency on Wednesday 3rd April 2019, with a target of 2030. There were 4290 days to meet the target when the declaration was made. 1267 days have passed since the climate emergency was declared. This means 29.53% of the original time has passed already. there are now only 3022 days remaining to meet the target.

Countdown from www.climateemergencycountdown.com

Newcastle City Council has just issued an update on progress against its September 2020 ‘Net Zero Newcastle – 2030 Action Plan’ to the Council’s Climate Change Committee.

In this blog we look at the progress that has been made regarding transport, and in particular relating to walking and cycling. 

Background

When the Council declared a Climate Emergency on 3rd April 2019 there were 4,290 days to meet the target. As of 21st September 2022, 29.5% of time available had passed, and there are now only 3,022 days to reach the target. 

Councillor Byrne, Cabinet Member for a Connected, Clean City, confirmed in a recent Cabinet meeting that “The climate emergency is here and it is now. We [Newcastle City Council] have to move further, faster“.

At the 2020 Newcastle Climate Summit we heard that we needed to reduce our emissions by 10 per cent per year, every year’.

This summer’s unprecedented high temperatures, both in Newcastle and across the world, have made it clear that climate change is happening now.

Transport Emissions

Transport is responsible for 33% of the city’s emissions

Pie Chart showing total emissions at 1,277 KtCO2, transport 33%, Industry and Commercial 30% and Domestic 32%

The Government’s Decarbonising Transport plan sets out that a low-carbon transport network will only be achieved with:

  • A transition away from fossil fuel powered vehicles to zero-emissions cars, vans, motorcycles, and scooters.
  • Increasing walking and cycling – the government target is for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.
  • Good quality zero-emission public transport, especially for journeys that cannot easily be walked or cycled.

In addition, many transport organisations also believe a reduction in total miles driven will be necessary, including EVs – as emissions from producing EVs can be substantial.

The Council’s ‘Net Zero Newcastle – 2030 Action Plan’ has 28 Transport Priority Actions numbered T1 to T28. The Council’s update for each of these priority actions is included in the appendix at the end of this blog.

Walking and Cycling Progress

These are the main actions that Newcastle City Council has completed relating to walking and cycling.

  • The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), approved by the Council Cabinet in June 2021, outlines the Council’s intended walking and cycling network. (Priority Action T1). The LCWIP aims to implement a safe walking and cycling network that connects residential ares to schools, parks, and shopping areas. (T10) 
  • A Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial (LTN) has been launched in Fenham to reduce traffic cutting through local streets and to create a safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhood.  Further LTNs are under development, including Heaton / Ouseburn in Autumn 2022. (T1) 
  • The Council says it will continue to prioritise active travel and low carbon transport measures through developing plans for active travel hubs across the city centre, commercial districts and sensitive parts of the city. (T3)
  • Further School Streets will be launched in September / October 2022 with “a major push” again in Spring 2023.  (T7)
  • Five permanent bridge closures have been made in neighbourhoods, which make it safer to  walk and cycle. (T9)
  • Public consultations will be launched for permanent schemes to reduce the dominance of cars in the city by reallocating road space to active travel, recognising that balancing the demands for space will require difficult decisions and leadership. (T9)

These are all positive steps in support of a future net-zero transport network. 

The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

The map below shows the Gosforth part of the approved cycle network plan, including Gosforth High Street and a network of routes to connect residential areas, shops, schools and parks. All transport modes require a network of routes to be useful, and it is important that the network enables travel to main local destinations where people want to go.

Cycle route network map covering Gosforth

This network complies with the Government’s LCWIP Technical Guidance that we looked at in our blog A Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Gosforth including the objective of having a network of routes where adjacent routes should not be any more than 400m apart. 

You can see the Cabinet LCWIP agenda item and associated documents here

To date, the Council has only made limited progress on implementing the LCWIP.  The main recent progress in the Gosforth area has been:

  • the lightly-seggregated cycle lanes on Gosforth High Street and by Regent Centre, and
  • stopping motor traffic using Salters Bridge, Stoneyhurst Road and Castles Farm Road as through routes.

The main challenge for the Council will be to continue to implement the approved LCWIP and to do so at the pace necessary to achieve a net-zero transport system by 2030.

Fewer, Cleaner Vehicles

Picture of presentation slide titled transport with bullets: need to reduce car use, encourage mode shift, school places allocated near residents postcode, improve housing planning to link to public transport, sustainable aviation, bikes on Metro, free transport for under 11s, taxis moving to electric.

Photo: SPACE for Heaton. Councillor Nick Forbes at the Council’s Climate Change event

The Council has taken the following actions to achieve this aim:

  • The Low Traffic Neighbourhoods around Salter’s, Stoneyhurst, Castle Farm, Haldane and Argyle Bridges five bridges have cut traffic on residential streets without any material increase in traffic on neighbouring main roads. (T9)
  • Parking charges have been reviewed, and the Alive After Five incentive to drive has been scaled back.  (T5)
  • The Clean Air Zone was due to be implemented in 2021.  This has been delayed until late 2022 (charging to start in 2023). (T4)
  • 2 new rapid chargers for taxis have been installed at Blandford Square and Clayton Street. (T18)
  • Funding of c. £150k secured through Office for Low Emissions Vehicles for 23 EV chargers. (T19)
  • There are 9 dedicated Electric Buses on the ‘Voltra’ 53/54 route between Newcastle and Gateshead. (T25)

These are also all positive steps in support of a future net-zero transport network, however lack of pace is a serious issue. Delays to the Clean Air Zone is a particular concern. This was consulted on in 2019 and was due to be implemented in 2021. This is despite the UK High Court ordering Government in 2016 to meet air quality limits in the shortest possible timescales. 

That said, the Council is largely dependent on government for legislation and funding to cut vehicle emissions, and lack of funding can delay progress.  The Council does have control other other actions, including low traffic neighbourhoods and reallocating road space, and they could expedite these measures to offset delays due to lack of government funding.

Conclusion

In SPACE for Gosforth’s Climate Change consultation response from February 2020 we said “Taking urgent action now, starting in 2020, will ensure Newcastle’s residents get the maximum benefit from the transition to low-carbon transport.” It is also critical if the Council’s 2030 target is to be met.

While there have been many positive steps, it feels unlikely that the city is yet achieving a 10% year on year reduction in transport emissions. This means future years emissions will need to be greater than 10%, perhaps substantially more.

Currently, there is little certainty the 2030 net-zero deadline can be met. While there are elements of a city-wide vision, (the LCWIP is a very positive step) the “city-wide Low Carbon Transport Vision” mentioned in T1 needs to be completed and plans drawn up that will achieve the vision within the next eight years. 

The Council also needs to demonstrate that it is prepared to make difficult decisions at pace. Recent history, including multiple reviews and decision making delays on Grey Street and Blackett Street, and no action at all on the Blue House group recommendations, suggest the Council has quite a way to go to achieve the pace it needs.

The Council can start to put this right when it announces its new plan for Gosforth High Street later this month by ensuring that plan reallocates road space away from motor vehicles and fully implements the approved LCWIP including protected cycle lanes the full length of the High Street.


APPENDIX – Newcastle City Council Transport Priority Actions

The Council’s progress update for transport is copied below.  You can see the full update here including actions relating to energy use and on how the city will adapt to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events. 

Newcastle City Council Net Zero Progress Report August 2022 – Transport Priority Actions

T1
Develop detailed plans for a city-wide Low Carbon Transport Vision including 15 Minute City concept, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and incorporating the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and School Streets initiative. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* A bid was submitted to government to be the country’s first Zero Emission City.
* Plans have been developed that define the city’s road network and create the basis of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which in turn act as the building blocks for the 15minute city concept. These have been shared with ward councillors for views on local issues that could be addressed through this programme.
* A Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial (LTN) has been launched in Fenham to reduce traffic cutting through local streets and to create a safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhood. Second LTN in Heaton / Ouseburn ward due to be implemented in Autumn 2022 and many others in design stages (including Jesmond, West Fenham).
* Implemented the first school street initiative with subsequent ones to follow in July 2022.
* Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which outlines the proposed walking and cycling network has been adopted by Cabinet and published. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Secure funds and start implementation of additional measures. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T2
Assess options and develop a plan for limiting growth in the number of private motorised vehicles in the city, to counter the impacts of population growth. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* A key aim of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is to reduce ownership and use of private motorised vehicles in the city. We have made good progress with rolling out the first of these LTNs, with subsequent LTNs in design and others due to be delivered. 
* Presence of a car club in districts across the city with an aim of expanding them to new neighbourhoods. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continuing to assess options for alternatives to private vehicles through plans for active travel hubs. 
* Expanding low carbon shared mobility options into more neighbourhoods (e.g. extension of the E-scooter trial). 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T3
Systematically develop and implement plans to remove private motorized vehicles from the city centre, commercial districts and sensitive part of the city. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Road space reallocation programme has been progressed.
* Significant redevelopment in key corridors of the city centre – e.g. East Pilgrim Street – is underway as part of the City Centre Transformation Programme, with the aim of designing out cars as the dominant mode of travel. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continue to prioritise active travel and low carbon transport measures through developing plans for active travel hubs across the city centre, commercial districts and sensitive parts of the city. Seek funding sources for this work. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T4
Implement the Clean Air Zone (category C) using secured funds. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Approval has been given for a class C Clean Air Zone to be implemented in Newcastle city centre (and across the river into Gateshead). 
* This was due to be implemented in July 2022 but has been delayed due to ongoing discussions with central government around supporting grants for vehicle upgrades.
* Implementation now in late 2022, though recognising the impact of economic circumstances, and the lack of availability of replacement vehicles, light goods vehicles will be charged later in 2023 while implementation of the scheme now likely to happen in the latter half of 2022. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Monitor the revised schedule for the implementation of the class C Clean Air Zone and streamline the process where possible. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T5
Develop and implement an emissions based parking tariff in the city centre and key commercial districts. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* In November 2021 a review of car parking services in the city centre was held with the aim of altering the level of charges drivers will be asked to pay on Sundays and during the evenings. 
* The changes were formally introduced, following statutory process, during August 2022. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Work towards cashless parking across the city.
* Consider the case for emissions-based parking charges factoring in equity as a key determinant for rates. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T6
Assess the potential for wider deployment of car clubs within the city, based on Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. Ensure that access to travel options is enhanced in communities with low car ownership through community clubs as opposed to household ownership. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Net Zero Innovation Project (NZIP) launched in January 2021 as part of a national cohort, working with the car club provider to trial an EV car club in an area of the city with higher levels of depravation and lower car ownership. Will include a discounted offer for car club membership for tenants. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Use findings from the NZIP pilot to inform expansion plans for the car club.
* Look to change or renew car clubs scheme contract in 2023 to give more consideration to expansion needs. 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T7
Develop and implement additional School Streets initiatives. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* School Streets Trial was conducted at 3 schools in October 2021, with roads outside schools being closed from 8am to 4pm. 
* First permanent School Street scheme launched in May 2022 at Hotspur Primary School, with Grange School following. 
* Further School Streets to be launched in September / October 2022 with a major push again in Spring 2023 using lessons learned from initial School Streets. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Seek further funding for School Streets initiatives.
* Continue to press for implementation of moving traffic enforcement powers. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T8
Implement, and where possible enhance, the Healthy Pupil Capital Fund programme. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* 17 schools have been involved in the programme. Of these: 
*  10 were awarded an installed air quality monitor for use from September 2019 (An additional 3 of the applicants already have one). The air quality monitors were installed between August and late October 2019 by Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory, who maintain them. 
*  9 were awarded an extra cycle store 
*  15 were awarded extra scooter storage 
*  14 were awarded cycle helmets to keep and use in school for Bikeability training or other cycle-based activities 
* Review underway to ensure public health and active travel behaviour change initiatives are delivered together. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Kickstart discussions about who will drive this forward and when.
* Complete review of public health and active travel initiatives and take forward new ways of working. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T9
Develop and implement schemes to reduce the dominance of cars in the city by reallocating road space to active travel and low carbon transport modes, whilst meeting vibrant high street and Covid*19 requirements. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Changes in design and road space allocation were made to multiple streets within the city across three priority areas: 1) city centre; 2) district centres and main transport corridors; and 3) Neighbourhoods. 
* Public consultations will be launched for permanent schemes as more detailed plans become available, recognising that balancing the demands for space will require difficult decisions and leadership. 
* Five permanent bridge closures have been made in neighbourhoods to reallocate road space for walking and cycling, LTNs continue to expand. The bridge closures were made permanent in February 2022. Further information available here
NEXT STEPS 
* Complete consultations and make necessary scheme adjustments. Where appropriate, make changes permanent. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T10
Implement a safe walking and cycling network to connect every school, to every park, to every district shopping centre, by implementing the key components of our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Progress on the Regional Transport Plan is reported to the Joint Transport Committee (link here). A Regional Active Travel Strategy is being developed.
* The recent national developments in creating an organisation called Active Travel England and the potential Multi Year funding settlements for active travel that are expected to be forthcoming will support this work.
* Please refer to comments in Priority Action T1 in respect of LTNs and the LCWIP (which underpin this network) and Priority Action T7 in relation to Schools Streets programme. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Undertake a review of the LCWIP in light of new approaches to city transport including 20 Minute City model, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and upcoming funding announcements and reprioritisation of scheme delivery. 
* A network has been adopted and we now need to source funding / secure additional contributions from developers towards it 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T11
Work with Gateshead Council to implement a 12-month e-Scooter trial. If successful, explore ways to extend and expand the scheme. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* An E*scooter trial was launched in February 2021 by Newcastle, Gateshead have not progressed with a trial. 
* There have been some problems with the behaviour of a minority of people using the scooters, these include inappropriate parking and riding with two people or on pavements. Despite this, has been considered successful with over 500,000 miles travelled in the first year.
* The E-scooter trial has been extended for another year though the current operator is working to ensure it can address our concerns on the issues outlined above before we determine if it will continue to be the delivery agent. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Consider options for a more permanent e-Scooter scheme following extension of trial year.
* Consider options for integrating E-scooters into plans for active travel hubs across the city. 
STATUS 
Priority Action Complete
 
T12
Prepare a bold, detailed and high-quality submission to the Government for the recently announced Zero Carbon City Centre scheme. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* UK governmental released funding criteria for 2 pilot cities under the Zero Emission Transport City scheme. A bid was submitted including a brochure, budget and letter of intent. 
* The bid was unsuccessful given Newcastle did not meet two of the required criteria but the bid was commended as a strong and detailed submission. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Seek new funding opportunities for Zero Emission Transport City scheme. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T13
Work with Nexus and other city public transport operators to develop a citywide plan for further improving transport integration and to develop and implement a Smart Ticketing system using the ‘Pop’ branded smartcard. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Continuing work as part of the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative to improve smart ticketing options. 
* Options for smart ticketing were highlighted in the Issues Report for the Transport Net Zero Policy Cabinet (link to Issues Report is available here).
* Discussions at regional level are ongoing. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Liaise with transport operators to see if initiatives, such as the collaboration between the car club CoWheels and Go North East Buses with their integrated ‘flexility card’, could be developed. 
* Identify potential funding streams regionally to enable improved ticketing and integration. 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T14
Consider options for expansion of, and new sites for, Park & Ride schemes across the city. Develop and seek funding for Sustainable Park & Ride schemes. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Nexus are progressing the extension of the car parking provision at Callerton Park for the purposes of providing additional Park & Ride capacity.
* Local Plan discussions ongoing relating to the increased role of Park & Rides in the city going forwards. Many sites may be outside of Newcastle so regional working is essential, so too an integrated approach to city centre car park availability and charging levels. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Work with Nexus to look at Park & Ride at a wider geography as most sites likely outside Newcastle
* Initial options analysis for solar PV car port, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and small battery installations in public sector car parks under way. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T15
Enhance the information and payment systems available for passenger transport to enable a ‘Mobility as a Service’ approach to transport integration. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Transport North East is delivering the Regional Transport Plan and a range of underlying strategies. It has recently consulted on the ‘Making the Right Choice’ Strategy (link here) which has recently been out to consultation. 
* There is a programme of work being carried out under Transforming Cities Fund ITS01b that seeks to provide underlying digital architecture to facilitate future roll outs of Mobility as a Service. Essentially the project is linking bus data to traffic signals, Urban Traffic Management and Control and Bus Real Time Information. These will be the building blocks of the data systems that Mobility as a Service will rely on to fully inform passengers of travel choices both pre trip and on-trip. 
* Investigations continue into the options of Active Travel Hubs, E-scooters and E-bikes or bikes to hire. Pilot schemes are being considered and to be launched once funding is available. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continue engagement with Transport North East to influence Mobility as a Service and Integrated Transport approach. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T16
Work with bus operators to improve bus lanes and bus priority through better co-ordinated traffic signals on key transport corridors to improve overall public transport networks. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Transforming Cities Funding has been secured to invest £20 million in modernising and connecting traffic signals. The intelligent transport systems (ITS) project will use the latest technology to provide 300 signal updates and bus service prioritisation on 17 strategic bus corridors. 
* The Bus Service Improvement Plan includes investment proposals for a series of bus corridors across the city. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Deliver existing schemes and seek funding for additional forthcoming schemes.
* Subject to final design changes, consult on proposals for the corridors in the Bus Service Improvement Plan. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T17
Assess options and the pros and cons of a bus franchising approach. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Direct power for bus franchising are not available to Newcastle.
* The draft Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) explores the options of an enhanced bus partnership in the city.
* The Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP) programme will be formally approved by Government in the Autumn. Work will start then on the identified corridors. Initially it is expected to be enhancements and extensions of the existing Transforming Cities Fund schemes and our programme to upgrade traffic signals across the region. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Deliver the BSIP programme.
* Continue to investigate the pros and cons of a bus partnership in the city. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T18
Promote and support the transition towards ultra-low emission buses, taxis and freight vehicles operating within the city, including options such as cargo bikes. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* 2 new rapid chargers for taxis have been installed at Blandford Square and Clayton Street. 
* Subject to ongoing talks with central government, the implementation of the Clean Air Zone would be accompanied by grants to upgrade to lower emission vehicles (such as HGVs, LGVs, buses, private hire vehicles and Hackney carriages). 
NEXT STEPS 
* Further develop plans for freight consolidation hubs.
* Re-evaluate support mechanisms that can be offered to ‘last mile decarbonisation’ freight companies following the recent announcement that Z-Move (the zero emissions delivery service) will no longer be operating. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T19
If successful in grant funding bid to Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, implement a pilot scheme to provide 23 Electric Vehicle chargers in a number of areas of the city. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Funding of c. £150k secured through Office for Low Emissions Vehicles for 23 EV chargers.
* Charging points have been incorporated into Helix Car Park and spare capacity has been allowed on the installed transformer to allow future proofing for expansion of charging points across the car park. 
* On Street Residential Charge Point funding is to continue into the new financial year. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Submit an expression of interest to become a pilot city for the Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) fund.
* Seek opportunities for more government funding to rollout EV chargers. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T20
Work with the North East Combined Authority (NECA) to renew, replace and expand the Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure across the city. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Regional electric vehicle charging infrastructure procurement exercise was being progressed by NEPO but this procurement has since failed and must be re-tendered.
* It is the intention that current faulty infrastructure was replaced in the first phase of rollout with the intention of proceeding with first replacements in late 2022. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Devise a strategy to prioritise through planned phased delivery, the renewal, replacement and expansion of EV charging infrastructure. 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T21
Develop an ambitious city-wide plan for the rollout of Electric Vehicle infrastructure across the city. Work with North East Combined Authority to deploy Rapid Chargers, particularly to encourage use by electric taxis. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Following the failure of the regional EV procurement, officers are reviewing whether an approach without regional partners would enable phased plans to renew, replace and expand EV charging infrastructure across the city more quickly than the regional approach. This is in early phases of discussion and development. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Refine existing geospatial data and insight to inform an EV strategy for charger maintenance and replacement.
* Continue to work with the Transport North East to advance plans for rapid chargers and electric taxis. 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T22
Work with the North East Freight Partnership and other relevant organisations to move freight away from road transport and to encourage the switch to zero emission vehicles. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* No further progress to date other than progress on the implementation of the Clean Air Zone. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Table at upcoming North East Freight Partnership meeting. 
STATUS 
Priority Action not yet started
 
T23
Develop a plan for the city to implement Freight Consolidation Hubs and low carbon last mile freight deliveries, and assess practical implementation options, as well as seeking funding. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Early feasibility work has been completed considering whether freight consolidation hubs could be integrated into future public transport interchanges. This was profiled as part of the bid for a Zero Emission Transport City to get government funding – although the bid was unsuccessful these plans remain in development. 
* Discussions have taken place with some other major delivery providers about consolidation hubs for smaller goods that would enable E-bikes or E-vans to deliver. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Create working group to advance early-stage strategic plans for Freight Consolidation Hubs and low carbon last mile freight deliveries in the city. 
* Seek funding opportunities to advance plans for freight consolidation hubs. 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action
 
T24
Support other city low carbon transport projects such as the Metro rolling stock replacement programme, and work with city and regional partners to increase ambition in their transition to Net Zero. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Nexus is investing more than £360m to replace the original rolling stock, building 46 new trains. The first new train will arrive in 2022 and will enter passenger service in mid-2023. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Identify priority projects and actions that can be taken regionally to drive the transition to Net Zero transport quicker. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T25
Ultra Low Emission Buses scheme. Work with bus fleet operators to assess the necessary funding and to implement the infrastructure throughout the city to take 100% of buses to ultra low emission status. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Deployed the first all-electric buses running in the region, secured through ZEBRA funding. There are 9 dedicated Electric Buses on the ‘Voltra’ 53/54 route between Newcastle and Gateshead. 
* Prepared a business case for Second wave of ZEBRA funding, targeting 73 buses along key corridors including Coast Road Corridor between Newcastle and North Tyneside, as well as the A167 corridor between Newcastle and Gateshead. This was unsuccessful but a further bid was developed for Levelling Up Funding which incorporated 52 new zero emission buses with supporting infrastructure and 92 EV chargers across the region. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continue to seek funding sources to expand the electric bus fleet operating in the city.
* Improvements to the bus fleet are a key area in the BSIP through the enhanced partnership which will be further developed this year. 
STATUS 
Priority Action progressing well towards completion
 
T26
Investigate options for hydrogen to play a future role in public transport in Newcastle. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* BEIS have expressed interest to examine Haymarket Bus stations’ potential for hydrogen. Site tour was arranged for BEIS but this scheme has not been taken forward at this time. 
* Work has been undertaken to look at viability of other sites and hydrogen in the context of the regional Bus Service Improvement Plan and Enhanced Partnershio but currently this does not form a core part of proposal. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Progress internal discussions with strategic transport colleagues and external city stakeholders to determine options for hydrogen to play a role in public transport in the city. 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T27
Wherever suitable and appropriate, support the decarbonisation of Out of Boundary Transport Emissions by working with local, regional and national transport organisations. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Funding secured to allow the reopening of the Northumberland Line to passenger trains, delivering a programme of activity that will see the re-introduction of direct passenger trains between south-east Northumberland and the centre of Newcastle.
* Newcastle International Airport Net Zero plans have continued progressing over the past year with the most notable development being the submission and planning approval of an application for a solar PV farm of 16MW on land adjacent to the runway (further info here). 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continue to support projects looking at our regional transport capacity, such as the Metro Flow project (more info here). 
STATUS 
Priority Action initiated and early works conducted
 
T28
Use the tools at our disposal to promote our key ‘Asks of Government’ (see orange box to the right) either directly to decision makers, through consultations, or via collective advocacy groups. 
PROGRESS UPDATE 
* Various policy positions have been communicated to Government to influence the successful delivery of the city-wide Net Zero programme. 
* Progress on the Regional Transport Plan is reported to the Joint Transport Committee (link here).
* Discussions associated with the existing North of Tyne Combined Authority and devolution enable us to make our case to government and establish the basis of further action. 
NEXT STEPS 
* Continue to lobby government where appropriate 
STATUS 
Reasonable progress to date on Priority Action

 

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