Bus providers across England have pledged to make every new bus an ultra-low emission or zero-emissions bus from 2025 to combat climate change and air pollution.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents 95% of English bus operators including National Express, Stagecoach and First Group, says that over the next five years it plans to buy only zero-emission vehicles for use in cities and low-emission vehicles for more rural UK locations.
Announcing its new strategy Moving Forward Together, the CPT has also pledged to reduce travel costs for jobseekers and introduce price-capped daily and weekly tickets in urban areas as it aims for a billion more passenger journeys by bus by 2030.
Graham Vidler, the CPT chief executive said: ‘Buses are already the cleanest form of road transport and have a crucial role to play in tackling environmental issues and helping to meet important targets on improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
‘If everyone switched just one car journey a month to bus, there would be one billion fewer car journeys and a saving of two million tonnes of CO2 a year.’
Buses form a key part of Britain’s transport infrastructure with passengers generating around £64bn for the UK’s economy each year.
Around 60% of all journeys on public transport are taken by bus, while over three million people travel to work, school or college by bus each day.
The CPT has called on the government to introduce a national bus strategy to help improve bus services across England.
Improvements the industry body wants to see include agreed time targets with local transport authorities for bus journeys, speeding up morning commutes and encouraging more people to travel by bus instead of car.
The CBT also said it plans to work with the government to find innovative and sustainable solutions to rural transport, with rural communities often suffering from unreliable or irregular bus services.
Buses minister Baroness Vere said: ‘Buses link people with work, school, friends and family and are vital to helping drive down emissions by providing a greener travel option.
‘The Confederation of Passenger Transport’s strategy emphasises the importance of the bus industry and I look forward to working with them to continue to bolster bus services across the country.’
Last week, the government announced that it would invest £200m into upgrading bus services across the UK as part of its latest Spending Round.
The money will help fund the ultra-low emissions buses sought by the CPT and try out technologies like new on-demand services to respond to passenger needs in real-time.
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