Thursday 22 April is Earth Day and local charity Camcycle is calling for people across Cambridgeshire to get involved in a new campaign to tackle carbon emissions from transport. Zero Carbon Streets, which launches as part of the Big Give Green Match Fund, aims to empower more local groups to achieve walking and cycling improvements in their neighbourhoods. This would help more people to switch some of their everyday car journeys to more sustainable modes of travel. Recent research has shown that if 10% of the UK population were to replace one car trip each day with a journey by cycle, overall transport emissions would decrease by about 10%.
Transport makes up 44% of Cambridgeshire’s carbon footprint (higher than the UK average), so rapid change is needed if our county is to play its part in helping the UK reach net zero by 2050. The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate has made it clear that if we don’t act quickly to reach this target, global and local impacts will be severe and that the effects of climate change the UK faces – such as high temperatures, flooding and water shortages – will be particularly acute in our region.
Building on its 25 years of successful campaigning for better cycling in and around Cambridge, Camcycle wants to provide expert guidance to more communities across Cambridgeshire. New groups such as Hunts Walking & Cycling Group and Milton Cycling Campaign are growing fast, and the support which Camcycle’s staff and volunteers already provide has proved invaluable to local campaigners like these.
John Powell, from Ely Cycling Campaign, said:
“Over the last year, Camcycle has helped Ely Cycling Campaign with brilliant technical advice and support for our campaigns for better cycling facilities. We would not have secured the signalled crossing of the A142 near Lancaster Way Roundabout without their help.”
However, demand is growing and Camcycle wants to recruit a new infrastructure campaigner to accelerate local action on walking and cycling.
Camcycle’s Executive Director, Roxanne De Beaux, said:
“We know that better infrastructure is proven to increase rates of active travel. Local people have ideas for cycling and walking improvements, but frequently reach out to Camcycle for advice as they often lack the technical and policy knowledge to develop their proposals further. We want to inspire people in Cambridgeshire to work for zero carbon streets in their communities and need to expand our team to provide the support they deserve.”
Cambridgeshire residents can support the campaign for Zero Carbon Streets by donating to Camcycle via the Big Give Green Match Fund, which launches on Earth Day, 22 April. Donations made between 22 and 29 April will be doubled, increasing the impact the charity can have on the county’s streets.
Alex Day, Director of the Big Give, said:
“2021 is a crucial year for the planet with the UN climate change conference (COP26) taking place in the UK later this year. The Big Give, in partnership with the Environmental Funders Network, is delighted to be helping charities such as Camcycle grow the campaigns that will make a difference in improving our environment, now and in the future. We encourage local people to support Camcycle’s Zero Carbon Streets campaign which will empower more communities to turn their ideas for active travel improvements into real-life changes for a greener, safer future.”
To find out more and support the campaign, visit camcycle.org.uk/zerocarbonstreets