Bus industry in talks about new grant for Covid recovery stage

The bus industry is in talks with the Government about a new round of funding to support the sector as Covid-19 travel restrictions start to be eased.

Bus operators and the Government are wrestling with how to maintain social distancing on board vehicles as passenger numbers start to climb. Options being studied range from seating capacity of 15 to 50 per cent of normal. The social distancing requirements will add to operators’ costs.

Millions of office workers who can work from home may be told to continue doing so, to ease pressures on public transport networks.

Delay CAZ because of Covid-19, says Bristol

Bristol’s proposed clean air zone (CAZ) will have to be delayed because of the economic damage caused by Covid-19, the council has told ministers.

The Government has told the council to implement a Class C CAZ by next April. But Bristol says this will have a “disastrous effect on businesses during this unprecedented time of uncertainty for them”.

There are also growing doubts about whether the council will implement its proposed city centre diesel car ban, though not because of Covid-19.

Covid-19 puts commercial bus operations at risk – analyst

Covd-19 threatens the future of commercial bus operations across the UK, an industry analyst has warned.

Chris Cheek predicted that the virus could prompt lifestyle changes and an economic downturn that deflate passenger numbers in the medium-term by up to a quarter.

It’s pretty clear that current levels of commercial service provision would not be sustainable,” said Cheek, who has just released the 2020 version of his report, The Bus Demand Jigsaw.

Back a hydrogen bus programme, Bamford tells ministers

Jo Bamford, the owner of Wrightbus and hydrogen production company Ryse Hydrogen, has called on the Government to help fund a programme to build 3,000 hydrogen buses for the UK.

In an interview with Local Transport Today, Bamford says hydrogen outscores battery electric technology for buses on operational and environmental grounds, and are better for UK plc too.

Environmental groups launch road programme legal challenge

Environmental campaigners have launched a judicial review legal challenge against the DfT’s new five-year road investment strategy.

The Transport Action Network is bringing the case on climate change and air quality grounds. It mirrors in key respects the successful case brought against the Airports National Policy Statement earlier this year.

Liverpool to trial new pedestrian crossing designs

Liverpool City Council is to trial two new designs of pedestrian crossing next year that will feature psychological devices to tempt pedestrians to use them. The ‘Gold Standard’ crossing could feature customised lighting and audio.

Lock-up garage sites could become EV charging stations

Hundreds of lock-up garages in London and the Home Counties could be replaced by electric vehicle charging stations under a business agreement between SSE Enterprise and InfraTech Property Solutions.

The companies envisage building ‘digital community hubs’ featuring rapid electric vehicle charging stations, 5G, and Edge computing.

About the Author

This post was written by Andrew Forster. Andrew Forster edits the fortnightly magazine Local Transport Today, covering transport policy and practice from across the UK. To subscribe to Local Transport Today, click here.

Andrew Forster

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