RGU researchers to help with rural transport carbon reduction

Researchers from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and a consortium of 12 other partners from across Europe have been awarded funding of €1.95m to take forward a project on green transport in rural areas.

The G-PaTRA – Green Passenger Transport in Rural Areas – project, which will run until 2021, will be led by RGU working in collaboration with partners from UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Belgium. The funding was awarded by the European Union Interreg North Sea Region programme to support its “green mobility” priority.

G-PaTRA will promote green transport and mobility by enhancing the capacity of authorities to reduce CO2 from personal transport in remote, rural and island areas. It will embed more zero emission vehicles in rural transport systems and improve available passenger transport resources.

“Rural public transport is high carbon, subsidy intensive and struggles to provide a viable alternative to the car,” said David Gray, professor of transport policy at RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business, who is one of the researchers leading the project.

“Together with urban transport carbon reduction strategies rarely being transferrable to rural areas, innovations in green rural transport are sorely needed to help governments meet ambitious carbon reduction targets.”

At the consortium’s inception meeting at the RGU campus in Aberdeen the partners established some of the lighthouse projects which will provide the basis for the project. These include the trialling of a zero emissions bus in the Highlands and the incentivisation of informal car sharing for teenagers in Denmark.

Richard Laing, professor of built environment visualisation at RGU said: “The inception meeting provided a fantastic start to a valuable project. To see collaboration from rural areas across the European Union is exciting and will result in real transnational learning.”

The next meeting of the G-PaTRA partners will be at project workshops to be held in Aviemore during January 2018.