Struck mute by commuting “target” – #Manchester #climate #toptrumps

Manchester City Council’s carbon emissions are, even from the false baseline of 2009/10, climbing.  And so to help them achieve their rubbery targets they proclaim that they will cut commuting by… 1%.  #Senseofurgency??

toptrump010What it says

4.28 Reduce commuting by 1% through increasing flexible working.

What was said last year (direct quote from 2012/13 plan)

5.3.3 Reducing the need to travel
The Council will:
 Continue to offer flexible working, working from home, remote working, and
‘smarter’ working, subject to operational requirements.
 Publicise facilities for tele/video conferencing and install facilities in all
new/refurbished Council buildings wherever practicable.
5.3.4 Delivering modal shift
The Council will continue to implement and improve Get on Board, the Council’s staff
travel plan. It will:
 Include travel facilities e.g. cycle racks, changing facilities, car club space in all
new/refurbished Council buildings (wherever practicable), in partnership with the
Neighbourhood Delivery Teams.
 Double staff car club membership, as well as geographic spread of vehicles
particularly outside the city centre including Etrop Court (Wythenshawe) and
Alexandra House (Hulme)
 Continue to offer pool bikes and cycle mileage payments
 The bike to work scheme will aim to achieve its 1000th application and generate a
greater income and savings (2011/12 figure = £5000)
 A Bicycle User Group will be set up within the Council
 Final designs for the cycling facilities at the Town Hall Extension will be
 Annual season passes and interest free loans will continue to be made available,
to exceed the 2011/12 figure of 511.

MCFly’s verdict (Is it ambitious enough, is it likely to happen, is this meaningless gibberish/stuff that they were already doing designed to pad out a thin plan, what questions about this “action” are yet to be answered etc etc)

If only some of the many “cycling czar” councillors that we have would ask detailed questions about all this, and refuse to be fobbed off with the usual blandishments.   There is Example Setting to be done.  Maybe the Council is indeed doing good work on this issue.  But a 1% target doesn’t give you much hope, does it??

Note also that not all journeys are equal.  If the 1% that is cut is from cycling or walking, then you’ve achieved nowt.  Surely you should be targeting the high carbon journeys?  Maybe they are.  But have they explained how?  No.

What would a proper three year plan around this item look like?

How can culture be shifted around this item?

An actual report about it.  A regular item on a scrutiny committee’s agenda. The Council Leader blogging about cycling a bit more regularly. Other Executive Members getting on their bikes. Bureaucrats getting on their bikes. Etc etc etc.

What else should the Council be doing around this item?

Other info n/a

Phone numbers and emails of the organisations n/a


In 2012 Manchester City Council aimed for a 10% reduction in its own emissions. In July 2013 it claimed a 7% reduction. It was able to do this because responsibility for traffic lights moved from its books. Looking at everything else (buildings, transport) emissions went … UP by 1.8%.
So, building on that extremely strong base, the Council’s bureaucrats have proposed a series of actions to help them hit a new “7%” target. You can see the complete list here. Manchester Climate Monthly is going to take a closer look at each and every one of these 44 “actions.”

Twice a week, on “Annual Plan Tuesdays” and “Annual Plan Thursdays” we will be asking a few straightforward questions about each item. And to illustrate each post, we (Marc Hudson and Marc Roberts) are devising “Top Trump” cards for all of these actions. At two a week it will take you until December or so to collect the whole set… So far can’t give you a percentage on the 2005 figure, since the Council has been going off its 2009/10 baseline, in direct contradiction of its own plan.

And throughout all of this, we are asking YOU, the reader, and council tax payer (probably), what YOU think the Council should REALLY be doing… Because next year the council moves to a “three year plan.” And given what we already know of the low quality of the carbon plans and their implementation so far, we, the citizens, will be complicit if we remain silent…

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Climate Change Action Plan, Democratic deficit, Manchester City Council and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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