Bus operators have set out a strategy to help tackle climate change and get a billion more passenger journeys by bus by 2030.
Moving Forward Together has been launched by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). It includes new commitments from the industry, including a pledge to work with government to make every new bus an ultra-low or zero emission bus from 2025.
Additional commitments in the strategy include reducing travel costs for job seekers and apprentices by 2021, introducing price-capped daily and weekly tickets across multiple operators by 2022 in urban areas and working with government to develop innovative sustainable solutions to rural transport.
CPT said that alongside the industry’s commitments it is calling on the Government to introduce a national bus strategy. This would include bus journey time targets for local transport authorities, speeding up journeys to work, school and leisure and encouraging more people to get on the bus.
Chief executive Graham Vidler said: ‘Buses are already the cleanest form of road transport and have a crucial role to play in tackling environmental issues and helping to meet important targets on improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
‘With the right support from government to make the transition the bus industry will buy only ultra-low or zero emission buses by 2025, reducing CO2 emissions by half a million tonnes a year.’
Buses minister Baroness Vere said: ‘Buses link people with work, school, friends and family and are vital to helping drive down emissions by providing a greener travel option. That’s why this Government is spending an additional £200m on boosting bus services. This is on top of £250m already spent each year, as well as funding for a range of low-emission technologies across the sector.
‘The CPT’s strategy emphasises the importance of the bus industry and I look forward to working with them to continue to bolster bus services across the country.’
Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT), said: ‘We welcome the industry's commitment to transforming the role of buses. Operators and government now need to work together to deliver for passengers, communities and the economy and to cut carbon emissions.’
In a report published last week, CfBT also called for a national bus strategy, with a focus on:
- increasing the use of bus services across the country
- better integration of buses with other transport
- a clear route to zero emission buses
- growth in use of technology to improve services.