How can I help tackle climate change?

How we travel

Flying is one of the most carbon intensive activities most people undertake. A return flight from London to New York produces around 986kg of CO2 per passenger, more than the annual carbon emissions of people in 56 countries, including Burundi and Paraguay.

Many people are already cutting back on air travel for holidays and business, instead choosing to have business meetings online and visiting parts of the UK and Europe which can be reached by train - not only is this better for the planet, it can also be much cheaper too.

On our roads

0.58 billion vehicle miles were travelled on roads in Kingston in 2021. When travelling locally, there is often a lower carbon alternative to getting in the car. 

Consider what other options are available. Why not walk the children to school, take the train to work, or cycle to visit a friend? If you must travel by car, why not share the commute with a colleague and use one vehicle instead of two?

Much of the borough can be reached by bike or by walking. Not only will you be reducing your carbon emissions, you’ll be saving money and getting fitter and healthier in the process. 

If you don’t have a bike, take a look at the Try Before You Bike scheme or ask your employer if they are part of the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme. If you’ve not cycled before and would like some training, take a look at our Bikeability webpage for more information.

Kingston Council has partnered with HumanForest to provide an electric bike hire scheme which provides up to 10 minutes free usage per day - that’s usually enough time to get from Kingston Town to Surbiton, without any cost.

At Surbiton station, there is a Brompton dock, containing folding bikes, these can be taken on rail journeys during peak travel times, an easy option for onwards travel at the destination station.

Use the Cycle Streets journey planner to find quieter routes or TFL journey planner for both walking & cycle routes which may use less congested or noisy routes than those used by motor traffic.

We have installed cycle hangars on Local Authority housing developments to encourage cycling. More recently we have started to install residential on-street cycle hangars for residents in private housing. 

Secure cycle parking in on and off street locations has been installed throughout the borough. Secure cycle parking is especially useful for residents living in flat developments who don’t have anywhere safe to store their bikes.

Find out more on our Buy, hire or loan a bike page.

Of course, not all journeys are suitable to take on foot or by bike, so if you do drive, please don’t idle your engine unnecessarily, for example at railway crossings or in long traffic queues. Not only does this waste fuel, it pollutes the air we all breathe and releases carbon into the atmosphere.

Car sharing and car clubs

More and more people are joining car clubs or car sharing each year due to the environmental benefits and increasing costs of owning a carn.

This works best for people that don’t drive all the time but sometimes need a vehicle for the occasional journey. What’s great about car clubs is that you pay for the journeys you take without having to worry about maintenance and other costs.

Some car clubs also let you choose a modern or electric car which is less damaging to the environment compared to an older petrol or diesel car.

Search online for a car club near you.

Electric cars, electric car parking

When your car needs replacing, consider the benefits of going electric. According to a recent report by Imperial College London, even when factoring in the production of batteries, electric vehicles emit half of the CO2 produced by conventional cars.

Not only that but they are quieter and are exempt from London’s congestion charge.

Since 2019 over 200 electric vehicle chargers have been installed across the borough, ahead of the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2035. Find electric vehicle charges across the country by visiting

It’s really important that Kingston has the infrastructure to support electric vehicles for people that need to use them. To help encourage the shift to electric cars, Resident Parking Permits are currently free to electric vehicle owners.

Find out more about electric vehicle charging on the council’s Greener Driving page.

Public transport

Every person that chooses to travel by bus or train instead of driving takes a car off the road, reducing emissions and helping free up the road network for those that need it. This in turn reduces engine idling caused by congestion. 

What’s more, you get some time to relax, read a book or pop your headphones in while someone else does the driving for you.

Visit the Transport for London website to plan your journey.

Last Modified: 29/02/2024 12:27:28