Centro recognises that it has an important role to play in increasing the environmental well-being of the West Midlands through the promotion of public transport and to ensure Centro is an environmentally responsible organisation. Travel has an effect on all three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. Transport is one of the core challenges for sustainable development, especially in urban and densely populated areas.
CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) EMISSIONS
- CO2 is estimated to account for approximately two thirds of man-made global warming. Transport accounts for 24.3% of total CO2 emissions, 92% of which can be attributed to road transport.
- Travel by private car as opposed to public transport emits the greatest level of CO2. In 2010, 67.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide was emitted by private cars compared with only 2 million for rail and 4.7 million for buses.
- The chart illustrates the trend in total CO2 emissions in the UK from 1998 to 2010.
- The UK Government is committed to addressing both the causes and consequences of climate change through its Climate Change Bill. The bill upholds a legally binding target of at least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a reduction in emissions of at least 34% by 2020. Both these targets are against a 1990 baseline.
CO2 EMISSIONS PER PASSENGER KILOMETRE
- The effect the private car has on the environment compared with other modes of transport is most apparent when comparing levels of CO2 emissions per passenger km. Travel by private car will emit on average 205 grams of CO2 per passenger km, compared with only 186* by bus, 71 by light rail and 56 by rail.
- The chart provides an indication of current levels of CO2 emissions by car, air and public transport.
* The figure for bus is based on average occupancy on a national level
ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL CO2 EMISSIONS BY MODE
- Analysis of public transport survey data identified that car owners who choose to use public transport instead of their car are helping to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 124 thousand tonnes of CO2 per year. This breaks down into 108.7 thousand tonnes from rail users, 3.6 thousand tonnes from Metro users and 11.9 thousand tonnes from bus users.
- For rail, in 2011/12, 44.2 million journeys were made, assuming an average rail journey is 21.4 km, and 77% of rail users had access to a car. Had these users taken their car then 34 million more car journeys would have been made, which would have contributed to 730 million passenger km and 150 thousand tonnes of CO2, compared with 41 thousand tonnes of CO2 for the same journeys made on rail.
- For Metro, in 2011/12, 5 million journeys were made, assuming an average Metro journey is 9.5 km, and 57% of Metro users had access to a car. Had these users taken their car then 2.9 million more car journeys would have been made, which would have contributed to 27.1 million passenger km6 and 5.6 thousand tonnes of CO2, compared with 2 thousand tonnes of CO2 for the same journeys made on Metro.
- For bus, in 2011/12, 286.1 million bus journeys were made, assuming an average bus journey is 5 km, and 44% of bus users had access to a car. Had these users taken their car then 126 million more car journeys would have been made, which would have contributed to 629 million passenger km and 129 thousand tonnes of CO2, compared with 117 thousand tonnes of CO2 for the same journeys made on bus.
MODAL SHIFT FROM CAR
- As illustrated above, the key to reducing CO2 emissions is to encourage transfer from car onto more sustainable modes; bus, rail or Metro. To do this, the continual improvement of public transport is required. Centro is working with all partners to improve both the quality and patronage of public transport.
- In 2011/12, rail passenger journeys in the West Midlands were 78% higher than a decade ago. Bus patronage per population in the West Midlands is the second highest of all PTE areas at 11.7 million journeys being made per 100,000 people. Development of the Midland Metro network to include the Birmingham City Centre extension and further integration with rail and bus will help transfer journeys made by car onto public transport.
- It is encouraging to see a continual increase in the number of journeys made by public transport into Birmingham City Centre. 60% of all journeys made into the city centre during the morning peak are now made by public transport, compared with only 48% in 1997. The charts illustrate the morning peak travel by mode into Birmingham City Centre in 1997 and 2011.
- Transport accounts for nearly a quarter of total CO2 emissions, 92% of which can be attributed to road transport
- Travel by private car will emit on average 205 grams of CO2 per passenger km, compared with only 186 by bus, 71 by light rail and 56 by rail
- Public transport users with access to a car but choose to use public transport for their journey are helping to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 124 thousand tonnes per year