Bus & Coach SMMT News

SMMT statement on zero emission bus funding and consultation

26 March 2022 #Bus & Coach #SMMT News

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

Greater funding for zero emission buses will be massively welcomed as the sector has had a torrid time because of the pandemic. With plummeting passenger numbers, cash strapped operators have been unable to fund new vehicles, stalling fleet renewal. New, zero emission buses help entice more passengers back on board, and help address environmental concerns, especially in our towns and cities, while giving a boost to British automotive manufacturing. However, while some cities are already deploying these new vehicles, we need more cities to get on board quickly, so the promised funding must flow through local authorities urgently and on to operators to place new orders.

Ending the sale of new fossil-fuelled buses and coaches will, however, require even more extensive investments. Dedicated infrastructure – above and beyond what has been pledged this week for electric car usage – will be required if, as seems likely, buses are to be the first heavy vehicle segment to decarbonise. The coach sector, meanwhile, will also need a dedicated and complete package of measures, including incentives, plus suitable parking and charging provision across the UK.

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