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How green is your city?

Stephen Joseph's picture
Photos: cyclists

Thursday 4 May 2017 saw Mayoral elections in six city regions across England. These executive Mayors will lead new combined authorities with wide ranging transport powers. 

We've been working closely with other campaigning organisations to get sustainable transport at the top of the new Mayoral agendas.

Through the Greener Cities campaign co-ordinated by Green Alliance, we've published 'Greening the city regions – opportunities for metro mayors'. It includes scorecards for the new authorities looking at crucial indicators covering  air quality, access to public transport, use of low carbon modes, and rail freight infrastructure.  

It's been fascinating to see which areas are already leaders in their field and which have catching up to do. 

For example, Tees Valley is leading the way in electrical vehicle charging, with over twice as many charging points as its nearest rival, the West of England. But Tees Valley is bottom of the list when it comes to cycling take-up with under one per cent of the population cycling five days a week. Meanwhile Cambridge and Peterborough are cycling leaders but relatively low on bus use. It's the West Midlands that is winning on bus use, with on average 95 journeys per head a year, compared to just 38 in Cambridge & Peterborough. There's lots to discuss – but it doesn't end there.

Table of city regions

Read the report to find out more about this table.

The aim was not only that the Greener Cities index stimulated discussion during the election but also that it will have a lasting impact. We want to spur incoming Mayors into action, determined that their city region will not be left behind, and we'll continue working with local campaigners in each region to keep up the pressure.  

Top of the list in every region is the need to tackle air pollution, now our largest public health crisis. We've joined with environmental and health groups in the Clean Air Act Campaign to spell out how greener transport policies can help deliver cleaner air.

Getting local transport policy right is crucial to transforming people's travel choices. We want to see high quality integrated transport for every community. In the new combined authorities, Mayors have a vital role to play in making this happen.

Tell us what you think about the Greener Cities index on Facebook or Twitter, or send us an email.

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