UK coach operator National Express Group has said it will not buy another diesel bus for UK operations as it set out its vision for a sustainable future.
In addition, the company says it will ‘lead the transition’ to zero emission coaches, with a target for the first electric coaches to be in service next year’.
It has also set itself the goal of making its entire UK bus and coach fleets fully zero emission from 2030 and 2035 respectively.
In support of its objectives, the group will shortly launch a procurement competition to choose the manufacturers and partners to help achieve these ambitions.
This year it will:
- Place a major order for electric buses to add to its first zero emission vehicles which will shortly enter service in the West Midlands;
- Hold an in-service trial of an electric coach on its Stansted Airport service;
- Select partners to develop a zero-emission vehicle suitable for all long distance coach routes.
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, said, “Bus and Coach travel is already one of the greenest ways to get around, with each bus removing up to 75 cars from the road. National Express has already invested in clean buses and coaches and kept fares low to support a shift from private cars to mass transit. Working through our West Midlands Bus Alliance we have achieved the fastest passenger growth of any major city-region in the country, demonstrating its success.
“However we understand the imperative to go much further, so we are today setting out an ambition to be the first zero emission transport group in the UK. Our decision to never again buy a diesel bus in the UK coupled with our support in leading the zero emission transition in coach will place our UK operations at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change and poor air quality. We simply believe this is the right thing to do for our customers, the communities we serve and our stakeholders.”