The UK Government has recently announced the implementation of a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate and unveiled a long-term plan for drivers. The aim of these initiatives is to improve the journeys that matter most to the British public while making significant progress towards the country’s net-zero emissions target.
The Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that requires vehicle manufacturers to meet minimum targets for cleaner car production. Starting from next year, manufacturers will be required to produce vehicles that meet a minimum of 22% cleaner car standards, increasing to 80% by 2030. This ambitious mandate is expected to be one of the largest carbon-saving policies introduced by the government. Importantly, manufacturers have actively participated in shaping these targets, which has inspired investment, protected existing jobs, and created new opportunities in the industry.
To ensure a smooth transition, the UK government will allow the sale of new petrol and diesel cars until 2035. This decision aligns the UK with countries like Canada, Australia, and Germany, providing British consumers with fair choices while promoting the growth of the used electric vehicle market. Additionally, this decision aims to boost confidence in the charging infrastructure. The government has already witnessed a 43% increase in public chargepoints since last year and plans to further expand them through both public and private investments.
While the government is committed to decarbonizing the transport sector, it acknowledges the importance of automobiles as a lifeline for many people, particularly in rural areas. In response to concerns from motorists, the government has announced a comprehensive long-term Plan for Drivers. This plan includes 30 measures that aim to protect the rights of motorists to travel how, where, and when they want. It utilizes artificial intelligence technology to improve traffic flow, introduces a National Parking Platform to simplify parking, and focuses on more sensible enforcement practices.
Furthermore, the government has made significant changes to the high-speed rail project, HS2. While work on the London Euston to the West Midlands section will continue, the government has decided to stop the project in Birmingham. The £36 billion saved from this decision will be reinvested in transport infrastructure across the country. The North will receive almost £20 billion of this investment, benefiting cities like Manchester, Bradford, Hull, and Sheffield. Other regions across the UK, including the Midlands, will also receive substantial funding for road schemes, train links, and other essential connections.
Overall, the UK Government’s implementation of the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate and the unveiling of the long-term plan for drivers demonstrate its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions while addressing the needs and concerns of motorists. These initiatives aim to improve the accessibility and quality of everyday journeys for the British public and provide a balanced and sustainable transport network for the future.