Motorbikes and mopeds to go green in UK by 2035

Electric motorbikes are to become the norm on UK roads as new consultation opens to end the sale of new fossil fuelled two wheelers by 2035.

The UK government has announced a range of measures to mark “a year of success” since the country’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan was introduced.

The plan sets out the UK’s ‘greenprint’ to create cleaner air, healthier communities and tens of thousands of new green jobs across the UK.

The government said the past year has seen almost 7,500 extra electric vehicle chargepoints installed, supporting the 900,000 green vehicles that are on UK roads, and over 130 new walking and cycling schemes have been funded.  It added the production of zero emission vehicles alone has the potential to support 72,000 green jobs worth up to £9.7 billion in gross value added by 2050.

To mark the one-year anniversary, the government has launched a new public consultation to accelerate the transition to zero emission travel by phasing out the sale of new fossil-fuelled motorbikes and mopeds by 2035, or even earlier for some vehicles.

A further public consultation, Course to Zero, is being launched seeking views on the best route to net zero emissions by 2050 for the UK’s domestic maritime sector. This will help inform the Government’s future actions to achieve decarbonisation across the UK’s vital domestic shipping industry.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison explained:  “Across road, rail, sea and air we have taken decisive action to reduce harmful emissions while enabling innovation and growing the economy.

“We have provided certainty to both the industry and consumers through investment to stimulate a new market to reduce the need for fossil fuels”.

As part of the plan the first office dedicated to decarbonising the UK’s maritime industry, known as the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions has been launched.  It is also developing a Jet Zero Strategy, which will be launched this year, setting out the roadmap to achieving net zero aviation.

It will also create a £200 million Zero Emission Road Freight demonstrator programme, supporting industry to develop cost-effective zero emission HGVs and their associated infrastructure.

Helena Bennett, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said: “The Transport Decarbonisation Plan laid ambitious foundations for the sector to begin its transition to net zero after thirty years in which emissions have stayed largely unchanged. It’s promising to see delivery of some of the plan’s goals begin including announcements on a zero-emission vehicle mandate and phase out of polluting HGVs, but there is more to be done to keep the sector on track with climate targets, and it’s more important than ever, given the cost-of-living crisis, which boosts to public transport and walk & cycling infrastructure are prioritised.”

The Government said it is also aiming to improve health and make walking and cycling the natural first choice for shorter journeys and has published its second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. It sets out estimated investment, already committed from various funds, of almost £4 billion into active travel across the Government until 2025, including £2 billion announced for active travel in 2020. This investment will deliver measures including high quality walking and cycling routes, safer road junctions, cycle training and a Walk to School Outreach initiative.

The government said the past year has seen almost 7,500 extra electric vehicle chargepoints installed, supporting the 900,000 green vehicles that are on UK roads, and over 130 new walking and cycling schemes have been funded.  It added the production of zero emission vehicles alone has the potential to support 72,000 green jobs worth up to £9.7 billion in gross value added by 2050.

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