With London launching its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), debate continues on the best ways to improve air quality. Our own transport expert and Associate Director at Tetra Tech, Sarah Wixey, has shared her own commentary this week with media on the transport infrastructure needed to tackle emissions and congestion.
In the first piece, Sarah scrutinises the Government’s Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, which sets guiding principles for emerging mobility technologies and services. While complementing its apportioned investment into electric vehicle charging infrastructure, she criticises the lack of detail regarding how much of the £400 million budget will be invested into different types of charging infrastructure.
She points to Norway and other European neighbours as examples the UK ought to look up to in the battle to reach zero emission standards; wireless, fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles could be the solution to achieving this. The challenges that must be overcome first, however, involve interoperability, safety and the need for agreed electric vehicle charging industry standard.
In her second piece, Sarah advocates for mobility as a service as being the key to better air quality in cities. Specifically, she makes the case that the built environment must be adapted to support last-mile delivery services and reduce freight movements. She points to several tools that could help cities achieve lower vehicle usage, including Mobility Service Hubs.
She says: “Attitudes towards private car use are changing and this is evident in the growing number of car-sharing, ride-sharing, and bike-sharing schemes in major cities. The success of these shared mobility and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) schemes is encouraging. But they need to be adapted and scaled up to meet the needs of delivery and servicing operators.”
Meanwhile, Tetra Tech has signed an air quality pledge to the City of London and was formally inducted into the Air Quality Champions Network during a formal lunchtime ceremony held at Angel Court, London.
Within the pledge, our team promised to reduce the number of vehicles delivering to our London office, and to work with the building’s facilities managers to assess energy needs and improve efficiency. We also plan to help limit the impact of poor air quality on our colleagues by promoting walking, cycling and healthier lifestyles through a number of internal campaigns later in the year.
Recently, we’ve provided consultancy services to a variety of public and private sector clients on how to implement solutions to reduce vehicle emissions. We’ve also helped clients incentivise their staff to consider electric vehicle use by implementing a company-wide electric vehicle mileage expenses rate.