Road transport contributes far more to East Anglia’s pollution than it does in other parts of the country according to figures from the new body representing transport authorities across the region.

Transport East represents Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex highways and transport authorities and is based at Endeavour House in Ipswich. Its chair is senior Essex councillor Kevin Bentley.

In a new report it shows that 41% of carbon emissions in the region come from road transport – the national average is 28%. Industrial activity is responsible for 30% of carbon emissions in the region while households produce 27%.

Nationally 91% of all transport-related carbon emissions come from roads. Railways and planes account for only 1% each.

People commuting is the largest contributor to road transport emissions in the region. The area’s role as a UK gateway through our ports and airports means freight is also an important area to tackle.

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The report says that while the pandemic has changed people’s travel patterns over the last six months, this is unlikely to have a long-term effect on the region’s carbon emissions.

It makes several recommendations for how we can reduce carbon emissions on our transport network including:

•Increasing investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure

•Moving more freight onto rail

•Additional investment in public transport, walking and cycling to encourage fewer personal car journeys

It is making the case to government for increased levels of investment in transport and will build these recommendations into their draft transport strategy due out spring 2021.

Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Highways at Suffolk County Council said: “High carbon emissions not only add to climate change, but also directly affect the health of local people. We are committed to helping government meet its policy of net zero emissions by 2050 by making it easier for people and businesses to shift to cleaner, greener journeys. We will be identifying projects and programmes to facilitate this in our transport strategy.

“We are also calling on government to increase transport investment in the East of England so our partners can deliver existing plans to tackle carbon emissions.”