20 May 2020


Alexander Dennis (ADL) urges the UK government to accelerate the move to cleaner transport by releasing UK Government’s earlier £5bn pledge for buses and cycling as sustainable models of travel. “This is now more imperative than ever as the economy emerges from the impact of coronavirus”, says Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of ADL. He has a transformative vision that would see the entry into service of at least 10,000 low-, ultra-low- and zero-emission, domestically-built buses over the coming four years, approaching normal levels of investment.

With this vision ADL proposes to maintain the benefits of lower pollution and better air quality when the UK’s economy restarts after Covid-19. According to ADL UK bus operators historically registered between 2,500 and 3,000 new buses per year, although in the last two years this fell to under 2,000 buses. Bus manufacturing represents more than 10% of the UK’s motor industry employment total and bus manufacturers meet more than three quarters of domestic demand, keeping investment in the country. ADL sees a healthy home market crucial to a vibrant UK bus manufacturing industry. Colin Robertson: “We have shared these proposals with senior ministers in the UK and Scottish Governments to show how our industry can lead post-coronavirus economic recovery to deliver health benefits for the entire country. The realisation of our proposals can begin immediately, and they could be scaled up in size and ambition to match councils’ and governments’ decarbonisation targets. We are ready to deliver for the nation.” ADL is employing 2,500 staff in the UK and supporting a further 12,500 jobs in the broader supply chain, ADL’s UK production capacity of over 1,500 buses per year but it states this could be increased.

ADL emphasizes the coronavirus lockdown has shown the liveability of towns and cities. “With over 60% of UK road transport emissions in normal times caused by cars – compared with under 3 per cent caused by buses – the result has been a stark improvement in air quality.” The 10,000 new low, ultra low and zero emission buses ADL is aiming for, will combine different available technologies to replace buses with ageing diesel engines or to offer additional capacity to facilitate social distancing. By using different technologies ADL believes the first of these 10,000 buses can hit the streets at the end of 2020. Besides it says that 10,000 buses over four years would represent a return to the healthy levels of investment in a modern bus fleet. Colin Robertson: “This is now more imperative than ever as the economy emerges from the impact of coronavirus. We urge the UK Government and devolved administrations to speed up the transition to cleaner transport by accelerating the funding earmarked for zero emission buses and assuring health benefits from an immediate positive impact on air quality.”

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