I am as ever indebted to Claire Haigh, the enigmatic CEO of an organisation that I am a big fan of that is Greener Journeys. Claire has been outstanding in really championing the cause and the benefit of the bus and the political, economic, and social benefits that the humble bus provides in those local communities that they serve.
One of the latest areas that Claire has examined has been to identify just how clean and green today’s modern fleet of buses actually is. At a time when the perception of the bus has generally been that actually buses are part of the problem when it comes to changing carbon emissions, what Claire has done is to take a good hard look at the reality of buses and cleaner air and reducing the carbon footprint.
The Greener journey team therefore decided to investigate just what has been going on when it comes to reducing carbon and a specific report has been conducted by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (Low CVP) and what they found was that enormous technical progress has been made in reducing vehicle emissions by the UK Bus industry.
Several rounds of the Green Bus Fund and considerable private sector investment has now resulted in a staggering 3,760 officially defined Low Carbon Emission Buses operating in England, Scotland and Wales, accounting for an impressive 40 % of all new buses brought last year .They demonstrate a diverse and innovative range of fuels and technologies suited to different operational needs – ranging from electric to hybrid, and bio methane through to hydrogen fuel cell.
The reality is that while the bus industry is doing its bit and beyond the real issue is yet to be tackled and that quite simply is the number of cars that are on the road, not only seriously impacting on people’s health and quality of life but causing the double whammy of increased congestion which knocks on to the reliability of bus services resulting in lower levels of bus patronage.
So, great work as always by Claire but we now need to be in my view a lot more vocal about the progress that we have made and why it is important that the bus is supported and allowed to operate to its best advantage in the communities that it serves.