CPT cautious on end date for diesel buses and coaches 

CPT is recommending that any Government phase-out date for the sale of non-zero emission buses and coaches needs to recognise the unique challenges of each sector. 

Responding to the consultation on buses, CPT said that, with sufficient government funding, more than two thirds of all new bus orders would be zero emission by 2025. This would largely be driven by larger operators meaning any end sale date needs to consider the challenges faced by smaller operators. 

CPT head of policy Alison Edwards says: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19 bus operators have taken the lead on seeking to decarbonise their fleets, but challenges do remain. 

“Historically SME operators have had limited access to government funding and there are often challenges with infrastructure deployment at smaller depots. Therefore, it is vital that the end date for the sale of non-zero emission buses provides SME operators with the time and flexibility to ensure appropriate and affordable solutions are developed.” 

CPT’s response to the call for evidence, in advance of a formal consultation, on an end date for the sale of diesel coaches is more nuanced. 

“The most significant challenge for the sector is the lack of certainty over technology – hydrogen, electric or a combination of both,” adds Edwards. “CPT will continue to work through these options with the Zero Emission Coach Taskforce to build a clearer picture of what the zero emission coach landscape looks like. 

“Overcoming range anxiety will also be important to encourage operators to make the switch. A comprehensive and reliable network of recharging and refuelling infrastructure must be delivered alongside moveable recharging/refuelling depot solutions.”