No, Cumbria County Council's ‘net zero’ strategy will not impose travel restrictions

By: Rahul Adhikari
July 20 2023

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No, Cumbria County Council's ‘net zero’ strategy will not impose travel restrictions


The Verdict False

Cumbria County Council has not said anywhere that it will ban holidays abroad or restrict the movements of residents to within a 15-minute distance.

Claim ID 82a90155


A post circulating on Facebook claims that Cumbria County Council's (CCC) new "net zero" policy will impose restrictions on the residents of Cumbria. The post includes a poster calling for a meeting that reads, “What is net zero? Cumbria County Council signed us up to this. Do you know what this means to you? - No traveling unless it's within a 15 min distance. - No holidays abroad. - No cars, unless you can afford electric.” 

According to the viral post, the "net zero" policy will enforce a 15-minute travel limit on citizens and prohibit residents from traveling abroad. Additionally, it claims that cars will be replaced with electric vehicles. An archived version of the viral post can be found here.

However, the claim is false. The policy will not enforce a 15-minute distance limit on travel or ban holidays abroad.

In Fact

The U.K. government has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In keeping with this, the CCC published its Carbon Management Strategy in 2022 to achieve the "net zero" target by 2050. CCC stated that the strategy aligned with the U.K.’s plan to achieve the ‘net zero' target for the U.K. by 2050 and the regional ambition of making Cumbria the first ‘carbon neutral’ county in the U.K. by 2037.

The CCC strategy outlines its goal of making Cumbria the first carbon-neutral county by 2037. However, the document does not mention imposing 15-minute distance travel restrictions or banning holidays abroad. 

The council has previously discussed the concept of 20-minute communities in its Cumbria Transport Infrastructure Plan. This aims to improve mobility by ensuring that essential services and opportunities are accessible within a 20-minute travel time using sustainable transportation. This concept does not impose travel restrictions but rather seeks to enhance convenience in accessing services and facilities.

These claims are related to conspiracy theories that arose with the proposal of the 15-minute city concept. Logically Facts and other news outlets have repeatedly fact-checked claims that the concept attempts to restrict people’s movement and keep them under government control.

The strategy aims to reduce emissions through various strategies, including the introduction of electric vehicles in fleet services. The council intends to switch all business car travel to electric cars or similar ultra-low emission vehicles by 2035. However, while the CCC will facilitate the transition to electric and low-emission vehicles through various policies, it will not ban gas-powered cars that people already own.

This is in line with the U.K. government's net zero strategy, where the Committee for Climate Change recommends making all new vehicles electrically powered by 2035 or earlier to achieve the net zero target. In November 2020, the government announced a phased ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, with the aim of ensuring zero emissions from all new cars and vans by 2035. 

The Verdict

While the CCC’s net zero strategy does intend for the county to move towards alternative fuelled vehicles where possible, it is not banning cars that are gas-powered. It will also not impose any travel restrictions on people or ban travel abroad. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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