Smart Transport

Covid-19 gives unique opportunity to rewrite UK bus market, says CILT

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has released a new white paper that makes recommendations for rebuilding the UK bus market after lockdown.

CILT has made 14 recommendations for encouraging government to realign its policies for exiting the Covid-19 lockdown, to work alongside the goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gases and improving the nation’s air quality.

It argues that covid-19 changes nothing if, without intervention, the economy and the way travel works in the UK reverts back to the status quo.

The white paper says the post-Covid-19 recovery provides a “unique and unrivalled opportunity to lock in the unintended consequence of the lockdown that virtually eliminated traffic congestion”.

CILT also wants the Government to mount a major pro-bus and active travel campaign to encourage continued reduction in car use.

The paper: Rebuilding the bus market to meet the decarbonising challenge in a post-Covid world, has been produced by the Institute’s Bus & Coach Policy Group.

The Government’s policy document, Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge, was launched on March 4.

Nick Richardson, chair, Bus & Coach Policy Group, CILT, said: “As it stands, there is a potential for managing the pandemic and improving air quality to be seen as mutually exclusive policy objectives, however we believe that this is the ideal starting point for redoubling progress on the route to net-zero. 

“Key to preparing for the post-lockdown phase is to recognise that rebooting the bus and coach sector and enabling its contribution to net-zero needs commitment from central government, local authorities and operators.”

Richardson said that if the reduction in travel that has been experienced can be used to enhance bus and public transport as the lockdown is eased, CILT proposes this will facilitate a cleaner environment.

Kevin Richardson, CILT UK chief executive, said: “Public transport is fundamental to the economy, the environment and for effectively and efficiently supporting the movement of people.

“Government, devolved and local authorities must work with the profession to ensure that capacity and connectivity is maintained so that our transport networks are capable of delivering an efficient service that people can rely on to be convenient, cost-effective and coherent in a post-Covid world.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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