Using Neighbourhood Plans to Decarbonise Local Transport

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


This research explores the ways in which neighbourhood planning (NP) as a statutory development plan can offer place-based, community-led solutions to decarbonise local travel choices and transport infrastructure. NP was introduced by the Localism Act 2011 as part of the statutory development plan to give communities direct power to develop a shared vision for the development and growth of their neighbourhood areas. Since its introduction, NP has been proved to be very popular: with 2882 neighbourhood areas designated and 1292 plans having passed local referenda to become part of statutory development plans for their local area (as of November 2021). However, there is a paucity of research on the incorporation of sustainable mobility into NP and to examine the types of transport issues a neighbourhood plan can address. This research uses Carnforth, a small market town in Lancashire, as a pilot to explore the ways in which sustainable transport can be integrated into the development of a neighbourhood plan. It uses co-production and theory of change as methods to help create the conditions in which communities can identify practical ways to be empowered to integrate sustainable transport policies into their built environment and lifestyles and lead change to a just transition to lower carbon futures from a bottom-up perspective. The overarching consensus from this research is that the development of planning policies in a neighbourhood plan can contribute to the decarbonisation of local transport. With rapidly evolving technologies and new ideas, neighbourhood areas can act as testbeds where real change could be made. To help communities, the authors of this report have created a toolkit to decarbonise local transport via neighbourhood plans, suggesting detailed strategies to adopt sustainable transport policies in neighbourhood plans and providing good practice examples.
Period30 Aug 2022
Event titleRoyal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference 2022
Event typeConference
LocationNewcastle, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • neighbourhood planning
  • decarbonising transport
  • community-led
  • place-based decarbonisation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Manchester Urban Institute