Stagecoach calls for tougher action on air quality

Posted: 7 June 2017 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet

As part of its Green Week campaign, the Stagecoach Group has called for tougher action on air quality to protect communities across Britain.

With research showing that worsening traffic congestion is a major contributor to the 40,000-50,000 early deaths a year in the UK from air pollution, the company has said urgent action was particularly needed by central and local government to tackle the public health emergency, with the company calling for:

  • Continued investment by public transport operators in cleaner vehicle technologies
  • Tougher tax regimes and use of clean air zones to target vehicles and journeys which contribute most to pollution on a per-passenger basis
  • Focused taxpayer support where it will deliver the best value environmental benefit
  • Clearer promotion of switching from cars to public transport as the most effective route to tackling the twin scourges of urban congestion and air pollution
  • Targeted public investment in bus priority measures and better transport interchanges.

Detailed research by Prof David Begg for Greener Journeys has highlighted that across the country the congestion crisis is turning people away from bus travel and putting jobs in the industry and wider economy at risk. However, one full double deck bus can remove up to 75 cars from the road – thus freeing up road space, reducing overall emissions levels and helping to improve air quality.

In order to achieve the kind of reliability and journey times that make buses more attractive to potential customers, operators urgently need input from politicians and local authorities to free up road space for buses, to deliver bus priority measures and to implement bus friendly policies.

“Public transport has a crucial role to play in helping Britain beat the scourge of traffic congestion, pollution and poor air quality,” said Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths. “Our cities are clogged with cars and people are literally dying as a result and we urgently need our politicians to take tough action on congestion to free up road space and let buses flourish.

“Our commitment to our environmental responsibility is central to our business and we are continuing to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint as well as working more widely with our partners to protect our environment. Green Week is a good chance for us to highlight our key messages around this but our work to tackle the challenge of climate change is something that goes on all year round.”

Stagecoach’s ninth annual Green Week, with the theme ‘Delivering Solutions’, began on 5 June.

To find out more from Greener Journeys, make sure you catch Claire Haigh’s talk, ‘Maximising the Value of Bus’, at the European Bus Forum 2017 in Manchester on 29 June. 

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