According to a new report from think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a ban on buying new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles should be brought forward to 2022 for the public sector and from 2025 for large commercial fleets.

The Government has said that the sale of new diesel and patrol cars and vans will end in 2030, with certain hybrid vehicles given until 2035.

However, the IPPR argues that the public procurement of ICE vehicles should be banned from 2022 and large commercial fleets should not be allowed to the buy petrol or diesel vehicles from 2025 to make sure businesses take action to decarbonise their fleets.

The IPPR data and subsequent analysis suggests the current approach to decarbonising transport in the UK could see a 28% increase in car in use by 2050, and an 11% increase in car traffic.

Transport is currently the UK’s largest greenhouse gas emitting sector. In 2019 surface transport made up 22% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Car use makes up 60% of these emissions.

IPPR has called for an overhaul of public transport and a £6 billion investment in walking and cycling as well as fleet ban on procuring ICE vehicles. It wants to reallocate road space to cycling, walking and green space, with town and city centres car free by 2030.

The future, for IPPR, should provide far more affordable clean transport options, with access to an electric vehicle (EV) for those who need it.

IPPR says that the government should aim for the level of car ownership to peak by 2030, before falling to a more desirable level by 2050.

Head of the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission, Luke Murphy, commented on the IPPR research:

“The urgency of the climate crisis cannot be overstated. Yet little progress has been made in cutting transport emissions over the past three decades. This imperative for urgent action creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in place a new approach to how we all travel.

“The Government’s current preferred strategy places an overwhelming focus on the shift to electric vehicles. While superficially attractive because of its offer of continuity, such an approach will not deliver for people or planet.

“We need to massively expand the provision of and affordability of clean public transport options, such as trains, buses and trams, while helping more people to regularly walk and cycle, alongside a shift to electric vehicles for those that need them”.