Carlisle has registered a significant increase in low-emission car use in 2023, but a local sustainability group has called for the council to do more to ease climate change concerns. 

New figures from the DVLA show that 3,020 low-emission vehicles were registered in Carlisle as of March 2023 – up from 2,072 the year before, and 384 in 2018.

While this represents a significant increase, there were 73,049 vehicles registered in Carlisle, meaning just 4% of them were officially classified as low-emission.

Although this represents a positive step in the fight against climate change, Sustainable Carlisle has called on the council to do more to decrease car use in the city. 

Henry Goodwin, secretary at Sustainable Carlisle, said: "People are still saying that the climate crisis is high on their list of priorities. We need more leadership to encourage these attitudes and to build up action from our local council.

"It’s not anti-car, it’s about making it easier for people not to have to use it. That includes things like improving bus services and also building better walking and cycling infrastructure that is safer. You get many people saying that they want to get to school or work on a bike but they’re too scared because of all the cars.

"We need the council to encourage that and take a leadership role by investing in that kind of infrastructure."

Henry appreciated that the increase in low-emission car use suggests a desire from the people of Carlisle to lower their carbon footprints, but felt that the council needs to build on that.

He said: "It’s good to see it happening, but it seems to be happening just by people doing it themselves rather than being helped by the council. We recognise that, in a rural county, people will always need cars. But we want to see more work put into people not needing them. We need the council to lead on that.

"To have safer and less busy roads by having better bus services would be a really positive step and would take advantage of the concerns that people are already showing."