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Report 20 March 2024

Community engagement for sustainable transport

Widespread behavioural and system change is essential to meeting the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target. It is a critical factor in the scenarios considered in the sixth carbon budget. Effective community engagement can support and encourage these changes and help meet our climate targets.

Behaviour change on an individual and community level can play a significant role. Currently the largest single source of emissions in the country, transport was responsible for 34% of UK emissions in 2022, mainly from road transport. Supporting people to choose lower carbon transport is key to decreasing these emissions.

Community engagement infographic


Community engagement can help councils understand and address local issues, ensure solutions work for the whole community and deliver socio-economic benefits. Involving and empowering communities and other stakeholders in low carbon transport projects can build local pride in an area, improve social, economic and environmental values, and improve relationships within a community, alongside supporting the decarbonisation of transport.

The UK government’s ambition is to improve walking and cycling infrastructure and encourage sustainable transport behaviour. In recognition of the roles that local authorities play, the Transport Decarbonisation: Local Authority Toolkit provides advice on how to deliver transport decarbonisation projects. Several sections feature specific actions on engagement, including those on lift sharing, demand responsive transport, car clubs and active travel.

Download and read the guidance for local authorities seeking to develop sustainable and low carbon travel and transport services.

Last updated: 20 March 2024