Working with businesses to reduce carbon emissions in the local transport plan


What will be changing for your business

Improved business connections

Good, reliable connections between businesses and their staff, suppliers, clients and customers helps to reduce costs for businesses and supports their success by expanding their reach for staff, customers and clients.

Surrey is already one of the best-connected areas in the country. Our proximity to London is an important strength, as is our position at the heart of the South East, which provides easy access to jobs and markets in other economically successful areas, such as the Thames Valley and the M3 Corridor. In addition, Surrey's strong international connectivity, due to its access to London's two main airports at Heathrow and Gatwick, has been an important driver of business location decisions within the county.

Surrey's Place Ambition highlights the importance of maintaining these strong connections and identifies several ways in which improved connectivity could support sustainable growth in Surrey, including rail enhancements, improvements to strategic movement corridors and enhanced digital connectivity.

It identifies eight Strategic Opportunity Areas (SOAs) (see the map on the Surrey's Place Ambition page) where investment in transport and connectivity would bring the greatest benefits for sustainable growth. Connectivity improvements in the SOAs would improve connectivity both within Surrey and to other important economic areas, and would support Surrey's key economic assets such as universities, transport hubs, major employment sites and priority economic sectors.

For businesses across all sectors, transport and connectivity provide the links between businesses and their staff, suppliers, clients and customers. New transport connections also provide the opportunity to open up development land to support delivery of affordable homes and expansion of successful economic areas.

Encouraging a greener workforce with the workplace parking levy

Larger organisations may be required to pay a fee for the number of petrol and diesel car parking spaces provided for their employees or students.

The Workplace Parking Levy is a charge on employers and educational organisations for the number of parking spaces they provide that are regularly used by employees, students or others. The intention is to pass the charge on to employees, students and visitors, putting the parking resource on an even footing with paid public car parks. This has been successfully in place in Nottingham since 2012.

The current charge is £428 per space per year and the scheme has reduced parking spaces provided in the targeted area by 25%. It has also contributed to the shift away from car use. Much of this change is attributed to the fact that the levy generates around £10 million per year which has been invested in significant improvements in the public transport network. Key improvements include Lines 2 and 3 of the NET tram network, the city's subsidised electric Link Buses and refurbishment of the rail station. There is evidence that these substantial improvements are encouraging investment in the city as well as the shift away from carbon emission vehicles.

Encourage your employees to cycle or walk to work or use public transport

Less parking, means the need to shift your workforce to other travel choices by:

  • making them aware of public transport options
  • providing cycle storage and shower facilities to increase the number of your employees who cycle to work
  • promoting the benefits of walking to work
  • encouraging your employees to car share
  • providing electric vehicle car clubs.

Walking and cycling will provide your business with a healthier and more productive workforce. We aim to provide safer cycle and walking routes for employees from residential areas to key employment sites. More information can be found in our Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for each borough and district that we are developing with partners.

Remote working

The Local Transport Plan encourages Digital Connectivity as a carbon emission reduction solution for businesses. Increased remote working (or near home working in local digital hubs) will mean fewer commuting and business car trips and reduce the need for employees to own a car.

Electric Vehicle fleets and car clubs

We will support the conversion of wider corporate fleets by raising awareness amongst businesses in Surrey about the potential for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) to bring them economic as well as environmental benefits. Other key measures will include providing access to Electric Vehicle (EV) car clubs. We will also build on our website support to help those upgrading their fleets with the practicalities of vehicle purchase, such as arranging onsite charging facilities.

Company vehicle fleets are an important focus for early uptake of ZEVs. They often cover above average mileage each year, maximising reduced emissions impacts and many become available on the second-hand market within a few years, providing opportunities for individuals to buy EVs at a lower cost. Companies are more able to afford the upfront costs of EVs and offset them against the benefits of cheaper operating costs.

Expanding EV car clubs

We will support the expansion of EV car club fleets, as they have the potential to play a significant role in increasing EV use and make an important contribution to a number of the LTP4 objectives.

The fleets would build on the 30 Enterprise Car Clubs already provided across seven towns in Surrey, including Woking and Guildford, and could be part of the shared transport, and accessed through the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) system (as set out in the Public and shared transport policy area). They would be accessible to both private and business users to maximise their impacts.

Benefits of car clubs include the potential to get EVs on the road quickly to replace journeys by petrol and diesel vehicles. They would also provide lower cost access to EVs, feasible for those unable to afford a new car. This is important in combination with the measure of differentiating parking charges by vehicle size and emissions that is part of Demand Management for Cars.

The aim would also be to reduce individual car ownership by providing a low emission option for car use when essential, integrated with others within the MaaS system. Expansion of car clubs would then bring further benefits of encouraging the shift away from car use. As people use car clubs rather than owning cars, they will pay for car journeys more on a pay-per-use basis. This will put costs and decisions about travelling by different modes of transport on a more comparable basis. It also often saves car users money over the duration of a year, compared to the costs of owning and maintaining a car.

In promoting the uptake of ZEVs across all fleet types, we will seek to minimise the number and size of vehicles purchased wherever possible. For national carbon reduction targets to be met, we should not simply replace the existing vehicle fleet with electric vehicles because there are still emissions involved in electric vehicle manufacture. Although the vehicle manufacturing emissions are outside the scope of emissions covered by Surrey's Climate Change Strategy commitment, they will contribute to national totals. Producing fewer vehicles and smaller vehicles will reduce emissions from this source.

Car clubs contribute to this aim as they mean that distance travelled is covered by fewer vehicles used more intensively, rather than individually owned vehicles (which are typically stationary for at least 95% of their lifespan). They also provide access to a range of vehicle sizes, so that the appropriate vehicle size can be chosen for a journey. This contrasts with privately owned cars, as people typically own large vehicles only needed for occasional requirements (like holidays) and drive them daily, therefore unnecessarily increasing emissions and energy use for each journey.

EV Charging points

We will work with partners, including the districts and borough councils, to develop and design policy guidelines for charging points based on the charging point scheme (on our Electric Vehicles page). This will include identifying appropriate locations and approaches to delivering the charging points in conjunction with the business community. Measures will include requiring new developments to provide appropriate charging infrastructure.

Reducing congestion will help businesses

Many businesses will benefit from the reduced congestion and improved reliability of our roads due to lower traffic levels, and also from the release of central urban space from parking. However, it is acknowledged that some businesses who rely on car and van trips may be negatively affected in the short-term by the increased cost of petrol and diesel vehicle use and the limited parking, whilst the wider benefits of the LTP4 are developed. It should be remembered though, that these changes, that are necessary to reduce carbon emissions, will be phased in over a number of years, and so businesses will have time to transition into new ways of working and can plan for the future, to avoid any significant impact, by considering the various greener options available such as e-cargo bikes, electric delivery vehicles, use of delivery hubs and drop off and collection points.

Greener recruiting

We will be encouraging employers to consider reducing travel carbon emissions when hiring their staff. To achieve zero emissions, we aim to dramatically reduce kilometres per person, this includes work related journeys. We will be recommending that businesses consider the following when recruiting:

  • electric car clubs
  • electric car pools
  • increased, better and safer cycling facilities
  • reducing onsite parking or charging for spaces
  • promoting public transport options
  • where possible, reduce the length of staff journeys by either:
    • hiring staff with shorter journeys to work, ideally no more than a twenty-minute walk or cycle ride (see 'Liveable Neighbourhoods') or
    • using local digital hubs or remote working.

Jobseekers will be encouraged to consider travel carbon emissions when applying for roles.

Supporting Surrey's growth ambitions to enable businesses to prosper sustainably

Businesses will play a crucial role in the Local Transport Plan 4. The plan aims to deliver Surrey's 2050 Place Ambition objective for businesses in Surrey to thrive and we are committed to supporting businesses through the changes needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Measures within the LTP4 will provide excellent walking, cycling and personal mobility connections between residential areas, key economic and employment centres and public transport hubs. This will support sustainable growth by widening the potential pool of employees and consumer customers for businesses. It will also attract businesses back to town centres.

How your business can help reduce travel carbon emissions

  • Using Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs): electric vans, cars and e-bikes
  • Changing to electric vehicle fleets and car clubs
  • Reduced numbers of parking spaces to encourage staff to leave their car at home or avoid owning a car
  • More cycle facilities
  • Promoting public transport
  • Use of the planned digital hubs
  • Supporting homeworking.

Delivery vehicles including e-cargo bikes

We will be encouraging businesses to change to electric delivery vehicles and we will be recommending other low emission, greener delivery options:

  • Delivery hubs to centralise home deliveries: these will be local collection points at easily accessible locations to enable individuals to pick up their orders, reducing the number of short trips to lots of different properties. This will also help prevent the need for repeated trips to the same location when deliveries have been unsuccessful.
  • Use of e-cargo bikes: for the last leg of deliveries, these bikes can carry loads of up to 250 kilograms, compared with a typical van that carries 600 to 1000 kilograms. Businesses may find that the bikes' disadvantage of lower carrying capacity is outweighed by the advantages of flexibility, and far lower costs of purchase and operation. E-bikes could be used in combination with delivery hubs, for those requesting a home delivery.

Delivery restrictions and consolidation

To manage the impact of goods vehicles' deliveries on environmentally protected areas, residential areas and urban centres we will work with partners, including representatives of the freight industry, to consider delivery restrictions including delivery bans or restricted times of deliveries in central urban areas. Approaches could potentially include charges for entering central zones and restrictions varying according to vehicle size and emissions, as applied in Clean Air Zones (GOV.UK), such as the one recently launched in Birmingham.

To minimise the economic effect of these measures, we will also support the development of consolidation centres near to towns. These will allow deliveries from different sources to be combined for onward delivery, reducing the overall amount of goods vehicle traffic.

To increase the benefits of consolidation, we will support the use of smaller, more efficient vehicles such as electric vans or e-cargo bikes, or, potentially, drones (depending on technology and regulations) in the future, for the last leg of journeys (from consolidation centres).

We will build on best practice and lessons learned from established consolidation centres such as the Sustainable Distribution Centre near Southampton and from trials such as the ongoing scheme to allow organisations in Southampton and Eastleigh to trial e-cargo bikes for deliveries.

Taking measures such as these to limit the impacts of home deliveries, will be important given the rapid and continuing growth in internet shopping and reductions in delivery times expected by those buying online.

Heavy goods vehicles

Our Demand Management for Goods Vehicles policies

We will work with partners including the districts and borough councils and Transport for the South East (TfSE) to manage the impacts of goods vehicles on our roads. This is likely to include changes to delivery restrictions and the introduction of consolidation centres (see previous section: Delivery vehicles including e-cargo bikes) and electric delivery vehicles, including e-cargo bikes, for the last legs of deliveries.

We will continue to influence routing of goods vehicles, using weight restrictions and measures such as traffic calming, implemented in the context of our new Surrey street family and Healthy Streets framework. We will also consider the case for an eco levy (or pay as you drive charge), although this is most likely to be introduced at a national level.

The role of goods vehicles management

Goods vehicles cover a range of vehicles from delivery vans to the largest articulated lorries. Between them, they accounted for over 20% of the traffic on Surrey's roads in 2019. They play an important role in Surrey's economy and the wider regional and national economy. However, they also have a significant impact on Surrey's environment and people through their emissions, noise, road safety effect and severance impact, which deters cycling, walking and other active travel options on or alongside our roads.

As described in Demand Management for Cars, road vehicles have benefited from prioritisation over other modes of transport and over both environmental and social considerations, and they do not currently pay for the costs they impose on wider society. We will therefore manage the impacts of goods vehicles on roads using our new Surrey street family and Healthy Streets framework (as set out in the Planning for Place policy area), to rebalance the use of road space for different modes of transport and purposes, and to focus goods vehicle traffic on appropriate roads. At a larger scale, we will support measures to reduce overall levels of goods vehicle traffic.

To achieve this, we will review and identify the best options related to:

  • Introducing delivery restrictions and consolidation centres;
  • Altering traffic routing, speeds and priority; and
  • Engaging with eco levy (pay-as-you-drive) developments.

Revenue from any charges would help fund improvements for other policy areas, helping to strengthen alternatives to car travel and
increase the shift away from petrol and diesel vehicle use.

Improving management of goods vehicles will reduce carbon emissions by:

  • Reducing vehicle kilometres travelled by encouraging consolidation of loads and further planning of routes and, in some cases, transport mode shift to rail. This will reduce the number of trips made and the distance travelled; and
  • Transferring goods to lower emissions vehicles for the last legs of their journeys, for instance electric vans, e-Cargo bikes or Cargo bikes.

These impacts will be useful but fairly limited in their contribution to emissions reduction. National actions, particularly around future heavy goods vehicle types (such as hydrogen or electric vehicles), will have the greatest implications for freight emissions.

Demand and delivery management for goods vehicles will bring benefits for many of Surrey's businesses through reductions in congestion and improvements in reliability and journey time. Other businesses in central areas will benefit from additional custom as areas become more attractive environments as a result of a reduction in heavy goods vehicle traffic.

For some businesses, the costs of charges and the short-term disruption caused by delivery management, such as consolidation centres, may bring an overall drawback in the short-term as travel patterns change in response to the levelling up of priority between the different modes of transport. However, before we introduce any of these measures, we will be offering advice for businesses on alternative solutions wherever possible. It should also be remembered that an improved walking and cycling environment encourages shoppers to visit more retail premises as they cover more ground than they would if they were to park at their chosen store.

In the medium-term, businesses using consolidation centres should see benefits from efficiency improvements as their transport costs are reduced.


There are many electric taxis already in operation and we will be taking action to accelerate the take-up of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV)s amongst local taxi fleets.

Timetable for change

We will add schemes to our timetable below as they are agreed and implemented.

What we are doing now

2022 to 2030

We will work with businesses as we gradually introduce measures to reduce carbon emissions.

2030 to 2050

We will provide information advice on changes and how to prepare for zero emissions.

Related links

Policy areas

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