Why we need our new local transport plan

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What is a transport plan?

Our fourth Local Transport Plan (LTP4) sets out our plans for transforming our transport network from 2022 up to 2032 and beyond. LTP4 was adopted on 12 July 2022 and supersedes our third Local Transport Plan (LTP3), which was published in 2011. LTP4 aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions from transport to meet the our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Government's national legal commitment. Achieving these targets will require significant changes for us all.

Our objectives are:

  • Net zero carbon emissions
  • Sustainable growth
  • Well-connected communities
  • Clean air and excellent quality of life.

To achieve these objectives, we will build on existing measures and develop new ones that align with the following three principles:

Avoid, Shift, Improve

  • Avoid unnecessary travel by reducing the number and length of trips needed. We aim to achieve this through improving planning for homes and employment sites, travel planning and levels of digital connectivity.
  • Shift travel choices to more sustainable modes of transport, including public transport, walking and cycling, away from car use.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of vehicles and operational efficiency of roads through technology improvements

An LTP4 Delivery Plan, that sets out how we will deliver the plan in more detail, is also being developed and will be published later in 2022 as a live document that will be regularly updated.

Why we need our transport plan

The way we think about travel and its impact on the environment has changed. Urgent global action is needed to avoid dangerous climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, including transport's carbon emissions. That's why we, Surrey County Council, declared a climate emergency in 2019 and produced a Climate Change Strategy committing to taking action, to play our part in turning the tide on climate change. Statistics and data that has influenced our plan can be found in the background and context and our policy areas sections.

The LTP4 has been developed at a time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed our use and need for transport, and which has brought new challenges, particularly for public transport. However, there has been a welcome increase in walking and cycling. The LTP4 reflects the behaviour changes and builds upon the opportunities to deliver wide-ranging improvements for cleaner, healthier and safer transport in Surrey.

Our proposals

We aim to provide:

What the proposals will mean for you

Our proposals to lower carbon emissions will bring changes in time for most road users, including pedestrians, and you can find out how, by travel type, in our how will the local transport plan affect you? section.

Timetable for the changes

  • Short term (to 2025) In the short-term, our measures will be focused on achieving a 'green' and 'healthy' recovery of transport choices after COVID-19, and accelerating the Avoid, Shift, Improve approach to carbon reduction. This means taking action and strengthening transport links to deliver the planning, development, design, public space management and digital connectivity aspects of the LTP4. This also includes building on the increased interest in walking and cycling to start a 'shift' away from car dependency, rebuilding trust in public transport, accelerating EV uptake, continuing to build on existing good practice, and delivery of relevant already planned schemes.
  • Medium-term (to 2030) The medium-term is about continuing to support the change of travellers' behaviour towards carbon-neutral choices for their journeys, investing in improving places and communities, delivery of higher impact but harder to deliver measures, greater uptake of technology solutions and achieving the transition from traffic growth to traffic reduction.
  • Longer-term (post 2030) The longer-term is about finalising the significant reduction of car dependency and making sure that places have become people-focused, rather than car-focused; whilst also managing the impacts of driverless vehicles.

Supporting behaviour change

The measures under the nine Policy areas listed below, will enable people and goods to travel more efficiently, with less impacts on our environment and communities. However, they will only help us to achieve our objectives if enough people and businesses change the way they travel, at least part of the time. We have an ongoing programme of activities to raise awareness of the opportunities that we all have to change our travel behaviour, how to do so, and the benefits this will have on our environment.

These policy areas are key to achieving our objectives:

Benefits of the local transport plan

Achieving our objectives will deliver the following benefits for us all:

  • Net zero emissions: this means that the amount of carbon we take out of the atmosphere is the same as that which is going into the atmosphere, achieving 0 emissions.
  • Sustainability: measures to reduce carbon emissions that we can easily keep in place.
  • Low carbon and resilient design: continuing to use reduced carbon emission materials in the designs of residential and business developments, roads and all future planning, whilst also ensuring they can withstand the effects of climate change, such as flooding or other extreme weather events.

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