While all five key challenges are linked, the relationship between climate action and sustainable travel is fundamental.

The Plan is ambitious and supports Cumbria’s 2037 carbon net zero ambitions.  The Partnership also wants to lead on a co-ordinated step change in climate action towards net zero through the lifetime of this Plan.

The Plan is honest in accepting there is an apparently overwhelming gap between the actions in the Plan and the ambition to achieve net zero. It is estimated that the actions in other parts of the Plan -  farming and forestry, vibrant communities and transport will result in just one fifth of the carbon savings needed over the next five years.

It must be recognised that in both climate change and transport many of the actions will depend on national policies and strategies. However, we believe that the Plan in relation to transport could do much more to help to move towards net zero.

The transport section of the Plan emphasises increasing decarbonisation of travel through providing information and increasing opportunities for more sustainable travel options. The Plan recognises that car borne visits to the Lake District are a significant contributor to the area’s carbon budget, and can at times cause anxiety for local communities.

We support these actions but think that more needs to be done. In tackling these challenges we recognise that much will depend on strong national policy. The transport elements of the plan contain many ‘carrots’ but a range of measures are needed to drive a behavioural change in how people move around the Park. Friends of the Lake District hosted a transport conference in 2019 where much thought was given to some form of eco levy charge for non -resident vehicles entering the National Park.

In the light of the climate challenge we believe more serious action is required to address the gap between where we are and where we need to be on climate. We believe a feasibility study should be carried out on a levy that could help fund some of the positive improvements needed to encourage a change in behaviour and give people confidence to get out of their cars and onto combinations of public transport and active travel.