In recent news, the UK Government has announced plans to roll out a brand new strategy dedicated to making buses throughout the UK greener. Described by Boris Johnson as “the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation”, these plans include an investment of £3 billion in order to purchase 4,000 ‘green’ buses which are to be powered by electricity and hydrogen. This is in line with their long term policy to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
In order for the government to ensure that they are also sticking to their goals to safeguard the UK bus manufacturing industry and end the sale of new diesel buses, the investment comes with the condition that these new buses must be built in Britain.
In many ways, these new plans should play out in a similar way to how they did in London, but on a much larger scale. Johnson also commented on this, stating that “our reforms will make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions”.
With plans to put an end to the existing fragmented, fully-commercialised market the bus services currently exist in following Thatcher’s deregulation of buses in the 1980s, there are plenty of major changes in store. In fact, the government expects local councils to play a larger role by entering into ‘enhanced partnerships’ with existing bus operators. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commented on this: “we will provide unprecedented funding, but we need councils to work closely with operators and the government to develop the services of the future.”
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