IF carbon emissions are to be cut in Ludlow and south Shropshire then the school run is going to have to become a thing of the past.

Car sharing can also play a big part in dealing with climate change in Ludlow and south Shropshire.

This is one of the key findings to emerge from a report by the Shropshire Climate Action Group.

A working group looking at transport was led by Professor John Whitelegg, from Church Stretton a member of the Green party.

The report says that transport contributes more than a third of the carbon emissions in the county.

It is an especially difficult issue in a large and isolated geographical area where the lack of public transport means that people remain largely dependent upon private cars to get around.

In Shropshire, transport accounts for 37 per cent of carbon emissions compared with 28 per cent nationally.

The report says that even if all new cars and vans are electric by 2030 there will still be a need to reduce the number of miles people drive.

It says that the average life of a private car is 14 years and so it will take a long time for an end to the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles to filter through.

Also, electric vehicles are produce emissions from brake and tyre wear and road abrasion.

The report says that improving public transport is vital and moving people from cars and onto buses and trains requires a lifestyle change that can only come if buses and trains are regular, reliable, comfortable and affordable.

‘Why drive around sitting next to an empty armchair with an empty sofa behind you,’ is one of the questions raised in the report.

It states that more than 40 per cent of car journeys in the area are between five and 25 miles.

Car sharing can play a big part in cutting emissions but the report says that this should be organized rather than an ad-hoc relationship between friends and colleagues.

This will involve putting into place car sharing clubs and other schemes with employers taking a lead in setting up liftshare in larger market towns like Ludlow and Cleobury Mortimer.

‘Car sharing is very important and relevant to the geography of rural Shropshire and the distinctive character of the Ludlow constituency,’ says the report.

Car sharing not only reduces carbon emissions, but also if the cost is shared, can leave people hundreds of pounds a year better off.

If schemes are widely adopted the report says that a 27 per cent reduction in car miles can be obtained for every car share club member.

Employers are also urged to take the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and see how many people can work from home rather than having to commute.

Shropshire Climate Action also want to see is more people walking or cycling.

This could mean for many an end to the school run with children either walking or cycling. But the report says that for this to happen it must also be made safer for people to use their feet and bikes.

This would include dedicated cycle routes.

A move away from the large numbers of children that are taken to school in a car would also help make them fitter and healthier, making a contribution to reducing obesity.

The report claims that walking and cycling can cut more than 16 per cent of car emissions. ‘A key stepping stone to achieve this aim lies in a modal shift of the school journey from car to walking and cycling.’

One of the most inventive ideas would be to replace’ white van man’ with ‘white bike man.’

The report claims that the use of cargo bikes could replace 95 per cent of van deliveries within towns like Ludlow.

The bikes used for ‘the last mile’ stage in deliveries can be electric assisted where terrain makes this necessary.

Shropshire Climate Action also calls for other measures including effective home insulation and the creation of wildlife corridors connecting woods and other green spaces.

It says that climate change can be managed.