Taskforce launched to drive zero-emission technologies in rural bus services
With challenges such as limited battery ranges and a lack of re-fuelling and charging infrastructure in remote areas, CPT’s taskforce seeks to develop a sustainable roadmap for a cleaner and greener future.
Credit: Confederation of Passenger Transport
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has announced that it has launched a Rural Zero Emission Buses Taskforce (RZEBT) to help rural bus services transition to zero-emission technologies smoothly and sustainably. The lack of a clear roadmap and uncertainty about the end-of-sale date for diesel buses has prompted this initiative. Despite past investments in Euro VI and green bus technology, rural bus operators face challenges with limited electric battery ranges and a lack of re-fuelling and charging infrastructure in remote areas.
Jeff Counsell, Chair of the Rural Zero Emission Buses Taskforce and former MD of Trentbarton and Kinchbus, said: “I am delighted to be chairing this new, forward looking taskforce, established to help our rural bus services overcome the challenges to transitioning to zero-emission vehicles. The road to zero presents many obstacles for all bus operators, however due to the extended range and topography of routes, our rural services face even greater challenges.”
CPT’s Policy Manager Becki Kite said: “Long distance rural bus services are vital for connecting passengers in more remote areas to work, leisure, education and medical appointments. To help deliver a sustainable, fully funded and long-term roadmap for operators in rural areas, CPT has set up a Rural Zero Bus Emission Taskforce with industry stakeholders and government to create a springboard of positive action.”
The inaugural meeting of the RZEBT had taken place on 29 June 2023, where they began examining decarbonisation challenges and identifying potential solutions. Key obstacles include addressing electric vehicle battery limitations, establishing reliable re-charging and re-fuelling networks and improving bus depots for zero-emission vehicles.
CPT invites stakeholders, including bus operators, local transport authorities, the Department for Transport (DfT) and energy and infrastructure providers, to join the taskforce’s efforts in promoting cleaner transportation options for passengers in rural communities. The RZEBT will work towards a greener and more sustainable future for rural bus services, ensuring a valuable and eco-friendly transportation service for remote areas.
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