Electric vehicles in front of Rochester Castle

Transport and Medway’s emissions

Transport is a major contributor to climate change, and in the UK is the largest source of emissions.

Road transport makes up a large part of these transport emissions. In 2017 it made up for 21% of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from road transport will be a significant challenge for the UK on the way to net zero emissions by 2050.

Transport makes up 35% of Medway’s emissions.

In our Climate Change Action Plan, we have mapped out 11 priority areas, and priority area 6 is dedicated to transport, travel and digital connectivity.

Sustainable transport options in Medway

Trying to think about ways to make getting around more eco-friendly? There are a variety of options for you to try, from driving a low emission vehicle such as an electric vehicle, to taking part in active travel, and walking or cycling to your destination.

Read below for all the options available in Medway.

The UK Climate Change Committee has estimated that one in 6 cars will need to be fully electric by 2030. It is vital that we are switching over to EVs as soon as possible to reduce our emissions, but you might be worried because you have heard some negative things about electric vehicles.

Here are some common myths about EVs:

Myth 1: Electric vehicles produce as much carbon dioxide as a petrol or diesel vehicle

This is incorrect. When you consider the whole life cycle of a car, and how the petrol or diesel is sourced, electric vehicles produce less emissions over their lifetime. With the UK grid increasing its use of renewable materials, the emissions of electric vehicles are still falling.

Myth 2: Electric vehicle batteries are worse for the planet than petrol cars and cannot be recycled

98% of the parts in an electric vehicle battery can be recycled or reused. This will also mean that over time, the need to extract the materials for batteries will decrease as we recycle and reuse old batteries.

So, while there is an environmental impact from batteries, these impacts are being mitigated and will reduce over time. Read more about electric vehicle batteries on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Myth 3: Electric vehicles are not suitable for long journeys

The average range of a purely electric vehicle is 197 miles. It is estimated that 68% of journeys we make in a year are under 5 miles, so an electric vehicle is well suited for these.

If you want to go further than 197 miles, you can, with more rapid chargers becoming available that can charge your car as you stop for a convenience break. You should take breaks when driving long distances, so stopping to charge can also ensure you are driving safely.

Plus, new technology is still coming out, and the distance ability of electric vehicles is ever-increasing.

For more information and myth-busting about EVs, head to the Energy Saving Trust.

Find out more about EVs in Medway:

Active travel is making journeys in physically active ways, such as walking and cycling. It is not only good for the environment, but good for your health too!

One of the urban myths about active travel is that often only additional journeys are made, rather than reducing or replacing motorised transport. However, studies have proved this to be false.

We recently received funding from the Department of Transport to improve our cycling and walking routes. Read all about what we did.

Sustrans has lots of advice for getting started with active travel.

Walking

Walking is a great way to get some daily exercise and is better for your lungs than travelling in a car due to poor air quality.

Why not try:

  • walking for journeys that are less than one mile
  • walking to school as part of a walking bus. A walking bus is a fun, healthy, safe, and sustainable way of travelling to school. Powered by good, old-fashioned legwork, the children and volunteers walk in a group along a set route, picking up or dropping off 'passengers' at specific 'bus stops' on their journey to and from school
  • visiting one of the walking trails in Medway. The more you walk for leisure, the more likely you are to be comfortable walking for other reasons, such as to complete an errand
  • joining a health or Nordic walking group
  • learning about the public rights of way in Medway.

Watch a video on the Medway walks programme.

Cycling

There are 81 miles of cycle paths across Medway, so why not try exploring on bike, or cycling to work?

We have tried to make it as easy as possible to pick up this healthy habit.

We have:

  • designed cycle lessons for those who do not know how to ride a bike
  • made cycle training available to all Medway schools
  • set up cycle groups that you can join if you do not want to start cycling alone.

View a map of routes and find out more about these opportunities on our cycling pages.

Watch a video about Medway cycle groups.

Buses

Find all the information about bus timetables, routes and other services.

Visit Traveline to help plan your journey.

Trains

Southeastern Trains operate at 5 different main line stations in Medway, these include:

  • Rainham
  • Gillingham
  • Chatham
  • Rochester
  • Strood.

Cuxton and Halling sit on the Medway Valley line, which links Strood to Maidstone West, Paddock Wood and Tonbridge.

Combining train and cycling

You can check out information about taking your bike with you on your train on Sustrans.

Why not give your car a holiday.

Join the car share scheme and help reduce air pollution. Travelling with others can save up to £1,000 a year too!

To find out more and sign up, head to Kent and Medway Journey Share.

Need to use your car to travel somewhere? You can still reduce the emissions of your journey by driving more sustainably.

Visit the Energy Saving Trust for tips on efficient driving.

We have been supporting taxis to move towards EVs. We've worked with the Energy Saving Trust to offer a free online course on zero emission vehicles with the opportunity to take part in a test drive.

In our Air Quality Action Plan and our Climate Change Action Plan, we have committed to carrying out a taxi and private hire ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) feasibility study. This will look at the barriers and opportunities to ULEV uptake in Medway, and consider the infrastructure requirements to support this.

On our Climate Change Action Plan, you can find progress reports on each priority area.

For updates on transport, see Priority Area 6: transport, travel, and digital connectivity.