Invest in bus services, not bus technology, to tackle climate change

Sustrans warns that millions earmarked for low-carbon buses is misplaced

Investment of more than £46 million into low-carbon buses is misplaced says UK charity Sustrans.

Transport Minister Norman Baker revealed today [Wednesday 6 April, 2011] that 542 new low-carbon buses will be put onto England ’s roads by 2012.

But, whilst Sustrans says efforts to cut carbon emissions from transport are welcome, the money could be better spent on securing the future of existing bus services, which are currently under threat due to hefty transport budget cuts.’

Jason Torrance, Sustrans’ Policy Manager, said; ‘Investing in ‘green’ buses is misplaced at a time when the Government is cutting 28 per cent of the budget it gives to local authorities for public transport, putting many bus services in jeopardy.'

Evidence from the Travelsmart project in Bristol, led by Sustrans and partners, showed that improving bus routes increased their use by 11 per cent, and when the improvements were coupled with people being given advice about costs, routes and services, bus use increased by 25 per cent [note 1].

Jason continued; ‘The Department for Transport’s £46million could be better spent on providing regular and affordable bus services and encouraging people to use them instead of their cars for local journeys. That in itself would be a more realistic and more immediate way of reducing transport emissions than relying on techno-fixes.’

1. Leading the Way in Travel Behaviour Change, Sustrans 2008

Source: Sustrans