At the start of February this year, the British government revealed a ban on the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. This is five years earlier than initially planned and has been brought forward to support Britain’s legally-binding pledge to have net-zero emissions by 2050. Once the ban comes into effect, people will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans.
Whilst banning higher-emitting vehicles is a positive step towards meeting the net zero emissions pledge, the full effect of this ban will not be felt for another 15 years. At the COP26 event where the plan was announced, Boris Johnson faced criticism that the ban scheduled for 2035 is not immediate enough, and that the future legislation does not recognise the current climate emergency that the globe is facing.
Mike Childs, a spokesperson from the Friends of the Earth charity, said that “a new 2035 target will still leave the UK in the slow lane for the electric car revolution and it still allows more greenhouse gases to spew into the atmosphere”.
Therefore, taking polluting vehicles off the road in 15 years’ time is clearly not enough. And with only 1.6% of new cars sold currently being zero-emission, much more must be done to encourage electric vehicle use. This may be achieved by improving the UK’s charging infrastructure and tackling the high costs associated with buying new electric vehicles, which could make them a more attractive option to British consumers.
In the UK, this ban on petrol and diesel cars and the consequent encouragement to buy electric vehicles should be supported with initiatives to take more cars off the road altogether.
Encouraging greater uptake of shared transport could help to reduce the levels of toxic emissions produced by petrol and diesel vehicles that drive around the country every day. An overlooked area of transport in busy periods is the school run. Up to one in four cars on the road during peak travelling hours are as a result of parents driving their children to and from school each day.
School buses can offer a greener solution to reducing the toxic impact of the school run as it takes away the need for parents’ individual cars to be used to drive every day. A single school bus can take up to 31 cars off the road and remove up to five tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
At Kura, we believe that the government’s pledge to ban the sales of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2035 needs to be supported by active measures to reduce the number of vehicles on the road – a change that is needed before 2035!
Our service addresses the reasons why people choose to get into the car each morning and offers sustainable transport options as a welcome alternative. Using a Kura school bus reduces the number of petrol and diesel cars on the roads during these busy periods, and therefore cuts down on the levels of harmful fumes that would enter the atmosphere.
Electric vehicles may be the future of transport, but making greener and more sustainable travel choices now, will be the difference in Britain achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The impact of polluting transport may be rivalled by increasing the number of electric vehicles sold across the UK. However, taking more cars off the road, during the increasingly toxic school run, is clearly a better place to start.
If you’d like to find out more about how Kura can help your child’s school to reduce its carbon footprint by offering a more sustainable alternative to cars, have a look at how we’ve helped St Bede’s College in Manchester to make a change for the better! Just visit https://www.ridekura.com/2020/01/cleaning-up-manchesters-air/ to find out more.