Thousands more green buses needed to reach net zero


More than 5,800 extra green buses are needed in England by 2030 to reach net zero and support the levelling up agenda, according to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

The Government has committed to replacing existing diesel buses across the UK with 4,000 new green buses.

However, as of May 2023, despite thousands of buses being nominally ordered or funded, only 87 zero emission buses were in use outside London.

In both its National Bus Strategy and Levelling Up White Paper, the Government said that it was committed to ensuring that bus services across the UK were ‘significantly closer to the standards of London’.

The IPPR has said that, in London, twice as many bus trips are taken per person than in any other metropolitan area in England, and that there is a ‘deep-rooted metropolitan unfairness’.

Joshua Emden, senior research fellow at IPPR, said: ‘The Government’s National Bus Strategy committed to level up bus services across England and raise them to the same standard as London.

‘Our analysis shows how a modest investment from government would deliver on these promises, decarbonise current and future bus fleets and have a transformative impact on local bus connectivity.’

The IPPR has called for the government to phase out the sale of new diesel buses by 2030.

The think tank has also asked the government to invest £2.5bn by extending the funding of Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) between 2023 and 2030.

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