PCVs central to decarbonisation plan – CPT

Getting people out of their cars and onto buses and coaches must be at the centre of the UK Government’s forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan, according to the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).

The Government has acknowledged transport as the largest emitter of health-harming carbon into the atmosphere. It announced its plan to publish a comprehensive Transport Decarbonisation Plan in 2020 in its formal response to the 2019 progress report from the Committee on Climate Change. This plan is expected to set out how the Government intends to reduce emissions from the transport sector in order to meet the 2050 Net Zero target.

With the Committee on Climate Change forecasting that by 2030 we need to see around one in ten car journeys today taken by bus instead it is crucial that the plan sets how to deliver this modal shift, according to CPT. The trade body believes the most effective way to ensure the country sees the long-term change that is needed is to put buses at the heart of transport networks across the country.

The CPT’s four-point plan calls on the government to ensure that the Transport Decarbonisation Plan will:

  1. Help deliver bus priority measures in towns and cities across the country making bus journeys quicker and more reliable to encourage greater use
  2. Set out a clear and realistic roadmap for decarbonisation of the bus and coach fleets and recognise the need for ongoing government investment in the years ahead
  3. Investigate how to implement a transparent road pricing scheme that exempts vehicles like buses and coaches which solve the problems of congestion and pollution
  4. Join up policies across Government which ensure decisions on everything from planning new housing developments to promoting great British places and attractions always make it easier for people to choose more sustainable transport modes

“We need to switch from a focus on reducing emissions at the tailpipe, especially of cars, to one that prioritises getting people out of their cars and onto buses and coaches” – CPT Head of Policy, Alison Edwards

CPT Head of Policy, Alison Edwards, said: “With cars and taxis contributing 55% of transport’s greenhouse gas emissions we need urgent action to reduce car journeys if we want to be on track to deliver net zero by 2050.

“The forthcoming plan is an opportunity to reset how we think about transport decarbonisation. We need to switch from a focus on reducing emissions at the tailpipe, especially of cars, to one that prioritises getting people out of their cars and onto buses and coaches, which has an immediate impact in reducing carbon emissions.”

Commenting on what is needed to help the industry decarbonise its fleets Alison Edwards said: “The industry is committed to moving towards zero-emission fleets and helping the Prime Minister deliver his promise of 4,000 new zero-emission buses by 2025. We now need ministers to set out, recognising the impact of the pandemic, exactly what funding will be available and when so operators can plan their investments accordingly and, for coach in particular, we need to see technology and infrastructure developed that turns this ambition into reality.”

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