Transport for the North spokespeople describe their Strategic Transport Plan in glowing terms (“Transport plan to boost economy by £100bn”, January 25)
Unfortunately their claims of the economic benefits it will bring are an unachievable fantasy. The reason is that if it goes ahead unchanged, it will be impossible to achieve the radical reductions in carbon dioxide emissions we need to limit climate change. Transport causes around a quarter of all emissions and the plan aims to expand road capacity enough to accommodate substantially increased total car mileage on our roads. A transition to electric vehicles should allow emissions to reduce slightly over time but nothing like by the 44 per cent that the Governments’ advisors on climate change say is needed nationally by 2030.
Those that think the economy should take precedence over environmental drawbacks should remember this. Nearly all national Governments have now agreed to seek to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5-2 degrees, largely because if it goes beyond this, the economic damage from extreme weather events could wipe out any economic benefits gained from further development.
Transport for the North should now completely redesign its plan, with much less road building. Increases in travel capacity should come from better provision for rail travel, walking and cycling.