CPT outlines requirements for rural net zero buses

Local transport energy taskforces, sharing of recharging points and an investment programme from Government are required for rural bus services to hit net zero goals, a report has claimed.

The study, by the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s Rural Zero Emission Bus Taskforce (RZEBT) and called Delivering Zero Emission Bus Services to Rural Areas sets out how rural areas can work in partnership to become a driving force for the UK’s transition to a zero emission bus fleet. 

It recommends a key role for Local Transport Authorities in establishing Local Transport Energy Taskforces with bus operators and other key local stakeholders. 

Specifically, it calls for the Government to provide additional support through working with Ofgem to introduce a new statutory duty on Distribution Network Operators (DNOs); Developing a hydrogen strategy that gives certainty over the supply of green hydrogen for bus and coach operators; and a longer-term approach to funding with a five year £1 billion investment programme in zero emission buses and infrastructure.

Rebecca Kite, Policy Manager at CPT, said: “Rural buses provide a vital lifeline for their passengers, connecting people located in rural areas to towns and city centres, enabling them to access education, employment, medical appointments and other important services. 

“Introducing the correct supportive measures will enable these bus services to transition to zero emission vehicles and will help deliver the environmental and social benefits of a bus network that is continuously improving.”

Jeff Counsell, MD of Warrington’s Own Buses and Chairman of the Taskforce said: “I have been particularly impressed with the level of engagement from both bus operators as well as national and local government representatives and experts from electricity, hydrogen and zero emission technology providers. It is through collaborations such as this that we will ensure all sectors can transition sustainably to zero emission solutions.

“The Taskforce identified a key part of this journey will be through establishing local transport collaborations that bring together local stakeholders to identify available resources and unlock solutions that deliver environmental benefits for the area.”

Image from Shutterstock

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