Travel and Transport

It is estimated that 3.5% of all road travel in England relates to the NHS. All vehicles used for NHS duties and directly owned or leased by the NHS and its staff total approximately 1,000ktCO2e per year. This is equivalent to 14% of total NHS emissions.

The significant investment that can be made in relation to this is fleet electrification:

  • Fleet electrification to meet the NHS Long Term Plan commitment for 90% of the NHS fleet to use ultra-low emission and zero emission vehicles (ULEV/ZEV) by 2028
    • Continue past this goal to ensure that 100% of the NHS fleet uses ULEVs or ZEVs
    • This will eliminate all emissions from NHS vehicles, reducing emissions by 1,000ktCO2e per year
  • Ensure all NHS sites and estates are able to support the electrification of the fleet by making necessary infrastructure adjustments.

Similarly, shifting away from cars and towards active forms of travel (and public transport) improves air quality and physical health. This represents a potential saving of up to 460ktCO2 per year. Interventions to encourage efficient, active travel include:

  • Promoting active travel
    • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust aided this by:
      • Providing cycle hubs for staff (with storage, lockers, and showers)
      • Providing a shuttle service between sites, car clubs, and cycle hubs
      • Ensuring public bus stops on main sites
      • Creating over 200 additional cycle parking spaces
  • Changes in infrastructure and the provision of travel advice via digital platforms to encourage sustainable travel
  • The prevention of unnecessary journeys for patients through improving preventative medicine and digital care
    • Developing NHS 111 to connect patients to relevant, community-based health professionals will avoid approximately 8.5 million km of travel (saving an estimated 1.7ktCO2e per year).

Please also see our resource bank for specific resources on how to accomplish some of the measures outlined above.