England’s Economic Heartland Transport Decarbonisation Roadmap


EEH is a Sub-National Transport Body responsible for the region spanning Swindon to Cambridgeshire (see map below). They required a transport related carbon evidence base to inform the development of a decarbonisation strategy for the region. The objective of our work was to identify, analyse and validate current transport carbon emissions, and to then determine potential routes to net zero. We assessed a range of net zero timescales to reflect both local and national commitments, including delivery by 2040 and 2050. Our outputs included a ‘local decarbonisation roadmap’ tool and accompanying report, which were both successfully delivered to time and budget.

Map of county boundaries within England's Economic Heartland.


To deliver a net zero UK in line with international agreements and domestic law, national annual carbon dioxide emission budgets have been determined for future years. Routes to net zero have been determined at a national scale by organisations including the Climate Change Committee, Department for Transport, and Tyndall Centre. Observations of current transport emissions by different sources have also been published at the national scale. However, to support local action, it is necessary to translate both emissions data and net zero routes down to the local authority level. Our scope for this project was to produce local-scale current-emissions analysis and net zero routes that are consistent with the national picture. To maximise insight, net zero routes and we segmented emissions data by the following emissions sources: car; HGV; LGV; minor road; major road; and strategic road.

Two of the pathway documents included in the review.
Figure 1: Two of the pathway documents included in the review; the Department for Transport’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget.

City Science Response

Our City Science’s response was broken down into the following three stages:

1. Review Various national routes to net zero were reviewed so that differences in methodologies could be reconciled. This included analysing local and national data to ensure equitable comparison of the routes upon disaggregation. Following this, we created a database of consolidated national-scale net zero routes and an interim report on their differences.

2. Client Engagement and Scope Refinement Our findings from the various national routes to net zero were presented to EEH. We proposed a methodology for disaggregating the routes and the emissions data to the local scale. Through discussion we agreed: the categories that emissions data and net zero routes should be segmented by, and that routes should be shown for a range of net zero dates including 2040 and 2050 to reflect local and national commitments.

3. Data Analysis, Output Preparation and Delivery We then implemented the disaggregation methodology, drawing on our database of national-scale pathways and data from: the Department for Transport, the Department for Business, Energy & Industry Strategy and the Office for National Statistics. This data was delivered in our interactive Transport Decarbonisation Strategy Tool (see screen shots below), allowing local authority partners to explore the data themselves. An accompanying high-quality report was produced to provide insight and recommendations.

Screenshot from City Science’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy Tool.
Figure 2: Screenshot from City Science’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy Tool (The locality can be selected using the drop-down menu in the orange box. The data and graphs then represent current emissions and historical emissions)
Screenshot from City Science’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy Tool.
Figure 3: Screenshot from City Science’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy Tool (Net zero routes can be selected from the drop-down menus in the orange boxes. The emission pathway graph then automatically updates so that routes for that locality can be compared)


The tool and report were delivered to EEH alongside a well-received presentation. EEH then cascaded the tool and report to their local authority partners. This was followed by a meeting between EEH, their local authority partners, and our City Science team, which focussed on lessons learnt from the project and identified next steps for progressing decarbonisation in the region. Next steps, include analysing the impact of potential policy interventions in order to determine how net zero can be achieved.

“We’ve been delighted not only with the work City Science have produced for EEH, but also with the support that the team at City Science have provided to EEH, our Officers and constituent authorities’ elected members. The work has been presented in a clear and concise manner, on schedule and at a competitive price point. We look forward to working with City Science again in the future”
James Golding-Graham, Innovation & Decarbonisation Manager, England’s Economic Heartland.