Last reviewed 1 October 2020

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a series of briefings designed to help local councils take action to decarbonise transport.

Working with the University of Leeds over the past year, the LGA has highlighted seven different areas where councils can take action with one of the advice documents covering the role of buses.

Available at www.local.gov.uk, this emphasises that while the briefings offer clear options for specific policy areas, councils will need to design the right mix for their own specific areas.

It argues that buses are a critical part of transport decarbonisation strategies for councils across England as, dependent on loading, they are the most space-efficient road passenger vehicle.

Already a low-carbon mode of transport, by transitioning the fleet to low- and ultra-low emission vehicles, buses quickly become even more carbon efficient.

However, in the context of the coronavirus emergency, the LGA recognises that is a perilously difficult time for the bus industry and bus policy with a once-in-a-generation scale additional subsidy needed to keep the industry running.

“This investment must be used to strengthen and rebuild the partnerships of those providing, supporting, and using bus services,” it insists.

The realities of coronavirus for the industry are that partnership working will now become even more important, the briefing suggests, with different regulatory models tried in different areas.

The LGA argues the general case for increased use of buses, pointing out that there is large variation across England. The average number of bus journeys per person per year in England outside London is 45, but this varies from 172 in Brighton to just 9 in Rutland.