National Express vows to not buy another diesel coach

The National Express Group has announced plans to become the first zero-emission transport group in the UK and stop buying new diesel coaches.

National Express is the UK’s largest operator of scheduled coach and bus journeys, running over 1,800 services every day. 

In an announcement made yesterday (February 27), the company has pledged to become the first UK coach company to transition to a fully electric fleet by 2035. 

In order to achieve this, their first step is to longer purchase diesel vehicles for UK operations.

They also plan to make a ‘major order’ of electric buses that will be trialled on services in the West Midlands and to Stanstead Airport. 

In order to achieve their long-term goals, the company has said they are going to launch a procurement competition to choose the manufactures and partners who they will work with and who can help them to develop a zero-emission vehicle that is suitable for long-distance journeys. 

Dean Finch, chief executive of National Express, said: ‘Bus and coach travel is already one of the greenest ways to get around, with each bus removing up to 75 cars from the road. 

‘National Express has already invested in clean buses and coaches and kept fares low to support a shift from private cars to mass transit. 

‘However, we understand the imperative to go much further, so we are today setting out an ambition to be the first zero-emission transport group in the UK. 

‘Our decision to never again buy a diesel bus in the UK coupled with our support in leading the zero-emission transition in coach will place our UK operations at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change and poor air quality. 

‘We simply believe that this is the right thing to do for our customers, the communities we serve and our stakeholders.’ 

Photo Credit – National Express

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Colin Matthews
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Not quite what they said, they said they would stop buying diesel buses (for their Birmingham operation) and trial an electric coach with a goal of being all electric from 2035.