Last reviewed 21 April 2021

Responding to a government consultation on phasing out new diesel buses, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has highlighted that zero emission buses alone cannot deliver net zero emissions.

Instead, it argues, there needs to be a change in people’s travel behaviour so that more choose to travel by bus. If everyone took one more bus journey a month, it points out, the benefits to the UK would be huge with one billion fewer car journeys reducing the UK’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by two million tonnes a year.

However, the CPT highlights that the key to encouraging more people to take the bus must be journey time improvements brought about by bus priority measures such as bus lanes, traffic signalling and priority at junctions.

Head of Policy Alison Edwards said: “We need Government to focus on putting buses at the heart of transport planning, with priority measures that keep buses out of traffic. This will result in quicker, more reliable journey times that make bus an appealing travel option.”

Before the pandemic, 25% of car users said they would consider switching to buses if they were more reliable. As lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted it is vital, the CPT insists, that bus priority measures are put in place to avoid a car-based recovery and a return to congested roads in towns and cities.

It has also warned the Government that ending the sale of new diesel buses without adequate financial support will result in cost increases for operators which risks impacting bus services. This will undermine the Government’s ambitions, which the industry shares, for modal shift, net zero emissions and the levelling up agenda.