Ireland continues work to help UK councils to achieve sustainable transport commitments

Posted: 7 September 2021 | | No comments yet

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar TD, has highlighted the key role that Irish businesses are playing in achieving sustainable transport commitments in the UK.

Ireland continues work to help UK councils to achieve sustainable transport

Credit: Enterprise Ireland

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, met with London leaders on 6 September 2021 to highlight the key role that Irish businesses are playing in helping councils to achieve their sustainable transport commitments.

As councils and local government bodies take the driving seat in the transition towards sustainable transport, they are increasingly looking to Irish partners to help to deliver the necessary infrastructure. The meeting was part of Enterprise Ireland’s – the Irish government’s trade and innovation agency – trade mission that is focused on greater trade collaboration between the UK and Ireland.

The Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said: “Ireland and Britain will always have a close relationship. Our two countries are interlinked in a myriad of different ways, and we will be looking to strengthen those ties as we emerge from the pandemic and face into future challenges, such as climate change and digitalisation. By working closely together, building on existing partnerships and building new ones, we hope to create more jobs and prosperity for both countries.”

During the visit, Varadkar met with ESB Energy, an Irish company that is playing a key role in the delivery of the London Mayor’s, Sadiq Khan, plan to make London a zero pollution and zero carbon city by 2030. Working in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), ESB Energy is helping to increase the number of 100 per cent renewable public charging points across the city, having already helped TfL to meet their ambitious target of 300 charging points in December 2020.

The race to get ready for the electric revolution isn’t just impacting London. According to a recent report by Ofgem, one in four households are looking to buy an electric car in the next five years as the ban on diesel and electric cars comes into force in 2030. To support the UK-wide transition to electric vehicles, ESB Energy is also working on similar projects with Coventry City Council and, most recently, Birmingham City Council, with funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Electric cars, however, are just one part of the solution in the drive towards a carbon-free future. Transport is the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and, in a bid to revolutionise the way that we travel across our towns and cities, many councils are trialling the use of electric scooters and are working with Irish companies to help deliver.

During his trip to London, Varadkar also met with Zipp Mobility, a Department for Travel (DfT) approved scooter provider, to learn about the company’s ambition to help UK councils to deliver greener, more active transport solutions. Currently operating in five areas in the UK, including Taunton and High Wycombe, Zipp Mobility is looking to expand its scooter schemes across the UK.

Laura Brocklebank, Senior Market Advisor at Enterprise Ireland, said “There are some significant opportunities ahead for local government as it looks to play its part in making sustainable transport the norm across the UK’s towns and cities. Supporting local government to achieve this ambition is something that Enterprise Ireland and Irish businesses are fully committed to, with many Irish businesses at the forefront of making sustainable transport more innovative and accessible. The visit from Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, highlights Ireland’s commitment to helping the UK to reduce its carbon footprint, whilst working in partnership with local government.”