Why Manchester’s public transport lags behind London and Birmingham in new green study

Activists say the report’s findings are proof that the city still has a long way to go on its green journey.

The city came in a dismal 30th out of 36 in the report by Clean Cities, which analyzes urban areas across the continent to see if they are on track to achieve zero-emission travel by 2030.

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Manchester got a poor score of 42.1 per cent and a D grade from the organization, which looked at walking and cycling facilities, road safety, clean air measures and public transport eco-friendly.

Green campaigners say the results show there is still a long way to go for Manchester to become a city with zero-emission transport.

What did Clean Cities find by examining Manchester?

Clean cities found that Manchester scored 34% on space for people.

This compared the length of separate pedestrian and cycle lanes with the length of the overall network while looking at traffic congestion over the past three years.

The city performed best on safe roads, scoring 70% for the number of pedestrian and cycling facilities over the past three years relative to total population.

However, it only scored 31% for access to climate-friendly mobility solutions.

What could be better than downtown in the sun? Credit: Shutterstock

This included affordability and accessibility of public transport and access to public and semi-public charging stations for electric vehicles.

Manchester got 39% for its policies, which looked at measures such as plans for zero or low emission zones, the phasing out of polluting fossil fuel vehicles, bike and car sharing options and ticketing or integrated public transport applications.

Finally, Manchester received a clean air score of 47%, with Clean Cities tracking annual three-year average concentrations and five-year trends of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5).

How does Manchester compare to other cities?

Manchester was clearly a far cry from the performance of the greenest city in the study, the Norwegian capital of Oslo, which achieved an overall score of 71% and a B grade.

Scandinavian cities performed well, with Helsinki in Finland and Copenhagen in Denmark also among the top four.

London was the 12th highest rated UK city, with Birmingham at 17th.

The only cities below Manchester in the study were Edinburgh, Rome, the Polish metropolitan area of ​​Tri-City, Warsaw, Krakow and Naples.

What have we said about the study?

Manchester campaigners say the study is proof the city is lagging far behind developments to create urban green areas in parts of the continent.

They also called on Westminster to do more to help the city-region.

Nationally, environmental groups have raised concerns about the place of all UK cities in the report, with particular concern over the prohibitive cost of using public transport compared to other parts of the UK. ‘Europe.

Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth sustainable transport campaigner, said: “This new evidence from Clean Cities shows how far Greater Manchester still needs to go to enable people to get around in a truly clean and green way.

“In a context of air pollution and climate emergency, a transition to active, shared and electric mobility is essential.

Cyclists/bicycles and traffic/cars, rush hour, pollution, exhaust fumes, fumes

“Greater Manchester is lagging behind other cities around the world and could learn a lot from the proactive policies they are putting in place to support walking, cycling and public transport, and to transition to cleaner vehicles. .

“We urgently need the government to provide the leadership and funding to enable Greater Manchester to provide affordable, reliable, clean and climate-friendly transport options.”

Paul Tuohy, Managing Director of the Campaign for better transportsaid: “This report clearly establishes the link between the cost of public transport and efforts to decarbonise transport and should therefore serve as a wake-up call for the UK government.

“We currently have a situation where it is often cheaper to drive or fly short distances than to take the train or bus, when the greenest option should always be the cheapest.

“We need more affordable public transport to help us achieve the government’s vision that public transport, cycling and walking are the first choice in transport.”

What did the authors of the report say?

Oliver Lord, UK leader of the Clean Cities Campaign, said: “The only way to tackle air pollution and the climate crisis is to ensure that public transport is a cheap, reliable and accessible alternative to the car.

“Our new report shows that UK cities have the least affordable public transport in Europe, which will inevitably get worse given this government’s decision to raise fares amid a cost of living crisis.

“This government should help, not hinder, our cities to play their part in delivering the UK’s clean air and climate goals.”

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