Children holding up boards with the words 'If not now, then when?' in front of a road full of motor traffic

Young people call for urgent action on traffic reduction and carbon emissions

Young supporters of the Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance have one question for those unsure about proposals for traffic reduction in Cambridge: If not now, then when? They are calling for everyone who wants to see safe cycling and walking routes, better buses, reduced pollution and carbon emissions and a nicer city for everyone, to have their say now in the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) Making Connections consultation. Find out how to have your say at

A few days after the climate conference COP27 closed in Egypt, with campaigners warning that the world was still on the brink of climate catastrophe, the children and their families are calling for faster action in Cambridgeshire. Transport accounts for 20% of carbon emissions in Cambridge and 44% in the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region. The GCP predicts that its proposals for a Cambridge Sustainable Travel Zone would cut car journeys by 50%, saving 33,300 tonnes of CO2e in the first year alone.

The latest IPPC report says that choices on individual mobility have “the largest potential to reduce carbon footprints” and calls for prioritisation of car-free options. At COP27, UITP (the International Association of Public Transport) said that a “combination of decarbonised public transport, walking and cycling holds the key to many of the solutions needed to achieve our goals through a just transition.” The GCP’s plans for Greater Cambridge would provide a £50 million investment in bus services and fare reductions, along with improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure. These sustainable transport options would gain further funding from a road charge which would be introduced from 2025 once alternatives were in place.

Eleanor, a parent and rural resident of Cambridgeshire, said she thought the benefits of the scheme would be “less congestion and pollution in Cambridge, easier and safer transport for those who don’t drive, and cuts in fossil fuel use to help mitigate the worst effects of climate change.” Peter, retired and living in the city, said that reducing vehicle movements could “enable a real contribution to the regional and national targets to reduce carbon and particulate emissions” and would also be beneficial for health.

The Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance supports the ‘Yes to Better Buses’ event being arranged by the ‘Cambridge Parents for the Sustainable Travel Zone’ group for Saturday 10 December. It encourages everyone in the region to respond to the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s consultation at before 23 December and explains the easiest ways to do this at