CLIMATE campaigners have welcomed a government-funded project which will use Stratford as a test site with the aim to reduce transport emissions.
Campaign group Stratford Climate Action says over half of greenhouse gas emissions in the district is from transport.
And although air quality improved during last year’s lockdown, a rise in online shopping means a high proportion of emissions are likely from delivery vehicles.
The group, along with the town council, is supporting Project Damascus which aims to streamline deliveries which are currently coordinated between 16 major parcel companies – meaning more vehicle journeys than necessary.
Delivery vehicles entering the town could stop at an edge-of-town hub where deliveries will be continued by a local delivery fleet of electric vehicles. Optimising journeys will reduce transport costs, vehicle emissions, congestion and air pollution.
A combination of technology will also allow companies to share information about parcels in a secure, transparent and auditable way.
The Government’s Geospatial Commission has funded this first stage of research in Stratford and Canterbury, and if the three-month study goes well, there is an opportunity to progress the project from concept to a pilot stage.
If successful, the research, which is being supported by Warwick University among others, would put Stratford in prime position for hosting a flagship scheme and help turn the area into ‘a vanguard for 21st century travel solutions’, says the group.
Group chair Stephen Norrie said: “This could allow cars to be taken off the road, to create a more pleasant experience for visitors and residents. This principle is at the heart of Stratford Climate Action’s vision for the future of the town, and we hope working with the Travelspirit Foundation and other partners will shed light on how we can achieve this.
“To reach net zero emissions, we need to get cars off the road. This is an exciting project which could help establish Stratford as a leader in the new technologies that will enable us to do this.”
Visit www.stratfordclimate.org for more information on the project and campaign group.