Decarbonising Transport Action Learning Sets: Frequently asked questions

This Action Learning Set brings together councillors and officers from across England to explore how emissions reductions could be achieved using Local Transport Plans and associated transport investments. Here you will find answers to common questions about the programme.

Application stage 

What other Decarbonising Transport programmes have the LGA already run? 

This is the first programme that the LGA’s productivity team have run in Decarbonising Transport. To ensure the programme is current and utilises best practice and expertise, we have worked closely with the LGA’s policy team, who have extensive experience of transport policy and planning, specifically around decarbonising transport. Examples of their previous work includes their series of briefing notes and accompanying workshops, developed to support councils with their work on Decarbonising Transport.

The Application

Which organisations can apply to the programme? 

  • Any English council (including those not in membership of the Local Government Association)  

At application stage, should I commit to the dates outlined in the timeline? 

  • Yes please. Although we cannot say if you have a place on the programme yet, if you are successful, you will be expected to attend all the sessions so it will be vital to save the dates in the diary so that you can attend.
  • For simplicity, please decide upon which Action Learning Set you will be applying for and save the appropriate dates: 

Action Learning Set groups 1 to 3



12 October 10am – 1pm

Decarbonising Transport - Overview/Training session

19 October 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 1

2 November 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 2

23 November 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 3

14 December 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 4

11 January 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 5

January 24 2023, 10am – 11.30am



Action Learning Set groups 4 to 5



12 October 10am – 1pm

Decarbonising Transport - Overview/Training session

20 October 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 1

3 November 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 2

24 November 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 3

15 December 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 4

12 January 10.30am – 12pm

Action Learning Set 5

January 24 2023, 10am – 11.30am



Which internal stakeholders should I speak to before applying? 

  • Your organisation’s Chief Executive or most senior officer. 
  • Your lead for climate change, or relevant member of your organisation. 
  • Colleagues across the organisation with specialisms in decarbonising transport.  

Do I need to gain confirmation from my manager to apply? 

Yes, a confirmation in the expression of interest form from your manager will be required to pursue the application. This is to ensure that you have organisational buy in for the training. 

How many councils will gain a place on the training? 

  • There are places for up to thirty people, made up of a combination of councillors and council officers on the Action Learning Sets.  

How many applicants can apply per council? 

  • The training is available for only one member of staff from each council.
  • We would expect the person that attends to feedback the learning to the rest of the team and seek team input into the topics they bring forward at the Action Learning Sets.  

How should councils look to decide upon the officers or councillor to put forward for the training?

  • Councillors holding the transport portfolio should be given preference in applying for the training.
  • If the councillor holding the transport portfolio is not able to attend, councils should then consider what role within their team would be able to use the programme to best support the council’s decarbonisation goals.
  • That member of staff should be currently working on decarbonising transport policy or provision. Types of work include, an officer delivering a programme/provision, developing policy, or writing funding applications.

Can I save the application while I am completing it? 

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to save the expression of interest form as you are completing it.
  • However, you can download a PDF copy of the application questions for reference and to plan your responses in advance.  

What will the expression of interest form be judged on? 

  • The expression of interest form will seek to ensure an intake from across the country and across political leadership, as much as possible.
  • Applicants will be assessed on criteria including suitability, variety of region and political leadership.


What structure will the Action Learning Sets and Training session take?

  • The programme will start with an interactive training session with all those selected for the training. This will take place online and is available to successful councils’ wider teams.
  • The Action Learning Sets will be interactive and will see the attendees split into five groups of up to a maximum of six people.
  • Each action learning session will see every member present a topic they would like to discuss; the group will then decide upon up to three topics they will focus on for that session.

What will the overview/training cover

The training session will bring the whole cohort together at the start of the programme, to focus on the scale and importance of decarbonising transport. The half day of training will focus on delivering information that is current and topical, using the LGA’s and Mott MacDonald’s existing work, resources, and experience. This will include a series of short presentations followed by challenge sessions in breakout discussion groups and Q&A. The challenge session will focus on ‘How Might We?’ and ‘What’s Stopping Us?’

We will capture any outputs from the interactive sections using Miro and disseminate it to attendees. The training session will also provide an overview of the action learning sessions and how they will work in practice.  

What will the action learning set cover? 

In the first session, each facilitator will train the group on how Action Learning Sets work and how to use the action learning set tool.

Each group will brainstorm topics that they would like to discuss during the session using the Action Learning Set tool. The group will then decide upon one overarching theme/questions for the session. This will be repeated at the end of each session in preparation for the following session, allowing attendees to prepare for the next overarching themes/ questions. This will allow attendees to prepare for the next topic, by gathering information and case studies. We will also prepare some topics and case studies to support wider discussion.

Participants will be provided with an action plan template that they can complete during each session, aimed at creating actions that they can take back to their organisation. The template will be populated with a couple of relevant examples to support the participant. We will also ask the participants to identify a previous or current case study they are familiar with or have worked on, to support their thinking during the session.

The final session will follow a similar format but will include time to discuss next steps and the outputs (action plan and case study). We will also advise on how the group can continue to act as a self-sustaining community of practice

What are the expected outputs from the training? 

Each officer that attends the Action Learning Sets will:

  • have a better understanding of current decarbonising transport policy and provision
  • be aware of the best practice examples currently happening across the country and where required, they will receive relevant contact details
  • get a clear understanding of the barriers currently facing policy makers
  • develop an action plan that can support them in future policy and provision design and delivery
  • develop a network of others to create a ‘community of practice’ for ongoing support, discussion and collaboration.  

During the programme 

How many sessions will there be? 

  • There will be one half day training session.
  • There will be five Action Learning Set sessions.

How long will each of the sessions be?

  • The half day training session will be for 3 hours.
  • Each Action Learning Set session will last up to 1.5 hours.   

How long will the training last for? 

  • It will be completed within a four-month period from October 2022 to January 2023. The exact dates are available in the timeline and milestone section of this FAQ.  

Will all the support take place online? 

  • Yes, all support will be delivered virtually. We are mindful of several factors which have drawn us to this conclusion, which include:  
    • the need for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside ensuring the accessibility of support.
    • cost savings for both the programme in booking venues and participants for travelling.
    • as this is a national programme, the reduction in travel will contribute to meeting our carbon reduction targets.

After the programme   

How will the project be evaluated? 

  • Evaluation will be an ongoing process throughout the training and will be conducted by the project coordinator.
  • Evaluation mechanisms may include:
    • impact logs  
    • observation 
    • online surveys 
    • reflection sessions  

What will I commit to doing after the Programme has finished? 

  • To share your learning with other councils and public sector partners via a case study, blog, a webinar, a podcast, or similar. 
  • Take part in the lessons learned webinar on January 24 2023 from 10am to 11.30am.

For any further questions, please contact [email protected]