Comment

25.06.18

Ultra-low emission buses: a clear vision for clean air

Source: PSE June/July 2018

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced the £48m Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which transport minister Nusrat Ghani says will go a long way to cleaning up our air and eliminating carbon emissions.

From bustling city centres to scenic countryside routes, buses are at the heart of the public transport network in this country – and it’s clear just how many people rely on them.

Buses complete almost five billion passenger journeys every year in Britain – that’s nearly two-thirds of all public transport trips. They are also the most effective way to keep Britain’s busy cities and towns moving. Yet they are so fundamental to British life that they’re often taken for granted.

Whether it’s capacity, geographical coverage, ease of use, cost or efficiency, no other form of public transport offers the same service. To put it simply, buses are indispensable. And, most importantly, they provide a unique answer to most of the local transport challenges that we face.

That is why I want to encourage councils and bus companies to make services more attractive. We must hammer home the message that buses are part of the solution to problems such as congestion and pollution.

Our commitment to improve air quality across all modes of transport is at the centre of our plans to evolve the bus industry over the coming decades.

We are doing more than ever before to achieve this, and we have a clear vision for every new car and van to be zero emission by 2040.

On top of this, we recognise that the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and buses are no exception.

Of course, increasing bus use would vastly improve air quality by taking more cars off the road – but we want to go further than that.

A call to action

That is why in March this year, the DfT launched its multimillion-pound Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme to ensure more passengers across the country benefit from cleaner and greener travel.

This programme will see local authorities and bus operators in England and Wales bid for a share of a £48m fund, which they will then use to buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses and the infrastructure to support them.

We have already seen how successful such schemes can be. In 2015, 18 local authorities and bus operators were given £30m between them to bring more than 300 low-emission buses into service by the end of next year. The sooner we get these greener vehicles on the road, the faster we’ll reap the benefits.

That is why I want to encourage councils and bus companies to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

Britain is already a pioneer in low-carbon buses, and the industry can be proud of what it’s achieved in recent years. We have almost 6,000 low-carbon buses in service, the highest number of electric buses in Europe and the largest hybrid fleet with more than 3,000 vehicles.

All of this brings us closer to our goal of seeing a full transition to a low emission fleet in England and Wales.

The key to success is partnership: government, industry, councils and operators working together for the benefit of passengers, for the benefit of the environment, and for the benefit of the whole country. If we take these vital steps to evolve the industry now, over the coming decades buses will become more important than ever.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

public sector focus

LGO upholds 60% of investigations against councils

12/07/2018LGO upholds 60% of investigations against councils

Article by Callum Wood of Public Sector Magaz... more >
Foehn achieves UK Government G-Cloud 10 Certification

05/07/2018Foehn achieves UK Government G-Cloud 10 Certification

Foehn's Rafael Cortes tells PSE abo... more >