National Express won’t buy any more diesel buses

National Express

National Express Group has set out zero emission vision, which includes a pledge to not buy another diesel bus in the UK.

The group’s ambition is to have fully zero emission bus fleet by 2030 and coach fleet by 2035, making it the first zero emission transport group in the UK.

National Express plans to “lead the transition to zero emission coaches”, with a target for the first electric coaches to be in service next year.

Meanwhile, environmental targets are to be included in all senior executive share schemes, making up 25% of their Long Term Incentive Plans.

National Express Group has a fleet of 1,600 buses across the West Midlands, Coventry and Dundee. Its coach operation runs over 1,800 services to more than 540 cities and towns every day.

National Express Group chief executive Dean Finch said: “We simply believe this is the right thing to do for our customers, the communities we serve and our stakeholders.”

Street launches £15bn West Midlands rail vision

West Midlands metro mayor Andy Street has launched his bid for re-election in May with an ambitious £15bn, 20-year plan to significantly upgrade public transport in the region.

The former John Lewis boss envisages opening eight new light rail lines as part of the West Midlands Metro and 21 new rail stations across the West Midlands by 2040.

The light rail plans would see 380 new stops on over 150 miles of new lines. This would include trams running in new ‘cut and cover’ tunnels on roads where there is not enough space to facilitate segregated running for West Midlands Metro trams.

The total cost of these plans would be around £15bn or around £750m per year for the next 20 years. Street claims these costs would be met by additional funding from central government, contributions from housing and commercial developers and borrowing against the future income from ticket sales on the West Midlands Metro.

‘Share bus priority revenue gains with public sector’

With the government preparing to invest billions in new bus priority infrastructure over the next five years, a senior public sector voice has called for a share of the increased revenues.

Speaking at last month’s North of England Transport Summit in Manchester, Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “I genuinely think we need to have a conversation across the industry about some of the way we do the business model, particularly, if we are going to get more bums on seats, grow patronage and grow revenue. How do we recapture that revenue to put it back into buses.

The old model – not one that I think particularly has been as effective as it could have been – was that traditionally a local authority would put something into priority measures on the network, the operator would put in the vehicles, if it all worked to plan the operator would get the increased revenue. I think we need to have something that’s a bit more equitably split.”

About the Author

This post was written by Robert Jack. Robert is Managing Editor and Publisher of Passenger Transport. He has worked as a journalist, editor and publisher in the passenger transport sector for 18 years. He has played a key role in many transport-related conferences and events.

Robert Jack

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