New plans unveiled to make travelling around Plymouth cleaner and greener

Plymouth City Council has today launched a consultation on ambitious plans to install a network of Journey Hubs, designed to make travelling around the city cleaner and greener. 

To help curb emissions and encourage residents and visitors to use low carbon modes of transport, the council aims to install up to 50 Journey Hubs across Plymouth by 2023. Each hub will provide electric vehicle (EV) charging points, e-bikes, an EV car club and links to public transport. The scheme also includes plans for the UK’s first sea-going electric ferry.

As part of the consultation, the council wants to ask residents, businesses and commuters how they would use Journey Hubs, what features they should offer and where people think they should be located throughout Plymouth. The council plans to install smaller hubs in residential areas and larger hubs offering more features in the city centre and main railway station.

The network of hubs will provide 300 EV charging points, 400 e-bikes and a car club, all operated through a smart booking system. The hubs can also incorporate additional facilities such as live information boards for bus and train times, bike repair equipment and waiting areas. Local residents, employees, businesses and visitors will be able to use the hubs to plan their journeys on public and shared transportation, both in the city and on the main routes into Devon and Cornwall.

Cllr Mark Coker, Plymouth City Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure said: “Plymouth has already declared a Climate Emergency and is committed to being net zero carbon by 2030 so we need encourage everyone to travel around the city in cleaner and greener ways.

“Creating the new journey hubs ticks off yet another action in our Climate Emergency Action Plan. Our hubs have the potential to revolutionise how we travel, offering the chance to ditch polluting petrol cars and use more sustainable, low carbon electric vehicles and e-bikes, available to hire through a smart booking system. 

“We want your feedback on our exciting plans and need your help in deciding what features our network of hubs should offer and where around the city they should be located to encourage maximum take-up.”  

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2018 stated that in order to prevent a global temperature rise of more than 1.5 degrees the world must become zero carbon by 2030. The UK Government has declared a climate emergency, promising to become net zero carbon by 2050. Plymouth has already declared its own Climate Emergency and established an Action Plan setting a target of being net zero carbon by 2030, in line with IPCC targets. Transport accounts for 27 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK (Department for Transport, 2018).

The council’s Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan also sets out ambitions for a minimum of 26,700 new homes and at least 20,000 new jobs by 2034. This level of development will have a significant impact on Plymouth's transportation systems and carbon emissions. Journey Hubs will strategically connect existing public transport across Plymouth, providing low carbon transport options for local journeys, intercity travel or to areas not covered by public transport.

Plymouth’s Journey Hub scheme is part of a programme of investment through the Department of Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), that aims to help reduce congestion and improve air quality nationwide. The TCF also aims to drive up productivity and spread prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in some of the UK's largest city regions.

After a competitive process, Plymouth was one of twelve cities selected for this fund.  The fund will invest £1.26bn nationally in walking, cycling and public transport, with an emphasis on inter-city connectivity, making it quicker and easier for people to get around and access jobs, education and training.

Further information on the council’s Journey Hub plans and how to respond to our consultation can be found here.