There is indisputable evidence that:
Rural parishes in the South Hams suffer from gross disconnection to any public transport system causing heavy reliance on private transport. This accounts for approximately 44 % of our carbon footprint as a whole in the South Hams. Solving this problem should be a priority but there does not appear to be a clear plan at District level to address this. Substantial investment in our public transport network is urgently needed.
Of the 87,000 residents in the South Hams, 28% are over the age of 65 (24,360) and entitled to free bus passes - but the bus network does not extend to a convenient walking distance from their homes. This group generally make fewer long journeys and would benefit greatly from an improved network to reach local shops and health services. This would take the risk out of journeys in narrow country lanes with potholes and no street lighting for 24,360 elderly people in the South Hams. If supermarket delivery vans can reach all postcodes…so can public transport! The SHDC
The lack of investment by SHDC/DCC in public transport infrastructure is being subsidised by poorly-served households who are forced to invest in private transport although their cars are only used on average for one hour per day.
Electric cars and vans help lower fuel costs and noise pollution, and avoid pumping out harmful pollutants. SHDC/DCC can help make electric vehicles (EV) a more attractive option for their residents by installing public charge points as quickly as possible to meet government targets earlier than 2030 . There are only 34 fast EV charging points in the South Hams, which undermines consumer shift to all-EV cars. The government target for South Hams is 480 EV charging points by 2030. In view of the fact that the IPCC advises leaders that we have a rapidly closing window and need to take action within the next two years - we need at least 200 new fast EV charging points in the South Hams in 2022 and 2023.
Our generally affluent lifestyles in the South Hams means that many of us a Frequent Flyers and this accounts for an appalling 36% of our district's carbon emissions attributable to Transport. Greater awareness of the impact of our Transport choices is urgently needed so that our community is better informed to make environmentally sensitive choices. The Carbon Savvy Carbon Savers Course is available from October 2022 and is a simple yet comprehensive way of raising awareness within community groups and organisations. The Transition Streets initiative provides a really people-friendly manual for neighbours to use and enables them to find local solutions to issues such as Transport whilst we wait for the Councils to start delivering the investment in infrastructure we desperately need.
Local authorities need to do all they can to encourage residents to travel by cycling, e-bikes and walking, as well as public transport, in order to lower emissions and improve air quality. Find out how other local councils in the UK are acting to reduce Transport footprints in their region.
Our recent Christmas Celebration gave us the chance to hear about some of your proudest achievements from 2023, and was also a reminder of how much has happened for Sustainable South Hams in the last year! Read on for a round up of where we’re at now, what we’re looking forward to, and the wide range of things we’ve been up to.
Our new Change Makers Gatherings got off to a strong start with an online session discussing South Hams District Council’s new draft Corporate Strategy for Climate & Nature.
The Devon Carbon Plan is the roadmap for how Devon will reach net-zero emissions by 2050 (at the latest). The Devon Carbon Plan outlines actions for how each sector (economy and resources, energy supply, food, land and sea, transport, and the built environment) can reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Find several resources for neighbourhood planning, including 'How Green is My Plan?' 'How to identify suitable areas for onshore wind development in your neighbourhood plan', community engagement ideas and information on support that the Centre for Sustainable Energy can provide.
The new and updated edition of the popular guidebook – 22,000 downloads for both editions – explores the potential of ‘low carbon’ neighbourhood plans to incorporate policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The 3rd edition, with a foreword from the Town and Country Planning Association, has been thoroughly overhauled and now has much more policy detail, in particular around renewable energy.
We have created a physical climate change response centre on the High Street where people can come to learn about our challenges of climate & ecological breakdown & also find effective ways to respond to these challenges locally with the community.
Village summer Fair for South Brent with a focus on sustainability
The Kettlewell Walk includes new trees, path creation, hedging and a picnic area