Study to examine cutting HGVs visiting town centres
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A study is to be launched to assess whether lorry movements in town centres can be reduced as part of measures to tackle the climate emergency.
The project is part of priority programmes for the next few months in the countywide climate emergency action plan produced by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL).
Other work includes plans for a Crowdfunder campaign to help fund carbon-cutting projects for parish councils and charities, and a review of the current electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the county.
The lorry study will look at “last-mile delivery solutions in town centres”, with “the aim of reducing heavy goods vehicle movements in town centres”.
The study will be funded from the £1.5million of retained business rates put aside by the SPSL group for its climate emergency action plan work.
Suzie Morley, Conservative chair of SPSL, said: “SPSL is excited to support this first set of projects, which are now in development. They look at different ways of addressing climate change in the county as a result of our climate emergency plan.
“These are great examples of Suffolk working together, looking at a range of subjects from air quality to electric vehicle infrastructure to supporting community buildings. This is part of our commitment to all working together to best set Suffolk on the path for carbon neutrality by 2030.”
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Annette Dunning, spokeswoman for achieving net-zero with Suffolk County Council’s Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group, said: “While I completely understand the need and economics of large lorries for the transportation of goods, this council needs to find a better solution that matches the frustration and concerns of local residents who are affected by the damaged air quality, noise pollution, and growing congestions across Suffolk.
“Any review must be strongly supported with public engagement and clarity for local communities to understand the benefits. Last-mile delivery solutions have the potential to change our towns and villages for the better.
“With a fleet of electric vehicles, this strategy could improve air quality and green spaces, free up areas for pedestrians to walk, talk and cycle, as well as encourage local residents and tourists to reignite town and village centres.”