The Campaign for Better Transport has called for more support from the UK government to accelerate the switch to cleaner vehicles. The group organised a Zero Emission Bus Summit last month with Transport for London and the mayor of London which brought together key stakeholders involved in delivering a greener, better bus network to help transform towns, cities and rural areas.
Silviya Barrett, Campaign for Better Transport, says: “Buses are already one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel and a zero-emission fleet will make them even greener, further reducing carbon emissions and air pollution. But our recent research with local authorities revealed that delivering the government’s target for zero emission buses was one area where many authorities felt they lacked the necessary support and expertise.
“That’s why London’s commitment to a full zero emission fleet and the summit are so important. Only by sharing knowledge and skills and working together, including targeted funding from government, can we achieve the clean, affordable and regular bus network the country needs to ensure more people use buses and leave their cars at home.”
The group points out that the government’s National Bus Strategy, which aims to both increase bus use and accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles, relies on local authorities and operators working together to deliver it. However, the campaigners say that after more than a decade of funding and service cuts, many local authorities no longer have the capacity or capability to deliver these objectives on their own.
Campaign for Better Transport is calling for more support from central government in the form of additional funding, help building local authorities’ capabilities, speeding up the roll-out of charging infrastructure and more ways to encourage people to choose the bus to ensure the aims of the National Bus Strategy become a reality.