A WYE Valley MP has been pushing in Parliament for the accelerated delivery of zero-emission buses.
As the Minister of State for the Department for Transport, South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman – whose constituency includes Welsh Newton, Llangrove, Symonds Yat West and Pontrilas – reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to introducing 4,000 zero-emission buses and transitioning to a zero-emission bus fleet.
He highlighted the importance of sustainable public transport, discussing recent visits to Scotland by the roads Minister, Mr Holden, which involved meetings with the traffic commissioner in Glasgow and Lothian Buses to assess the potential for implementing zero-emission buses across the nation.
However, Chris Stephens, Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Levelling Up, pointed out that the Transport Committee’s report on the implementation of the national bus strategy revealed that meeting the government’s bus decarbonisation targets for England and Wales largely depends on the Scottish Government.
He cited the striking disparity between Scotland’s ordering of 10.11 zero-emission buses per 100,000 people compared to just 0.94 in England outside London.
Mr Stephens urged the Minister to explain this significant gap in delivery and provide an updated target for zero-emission bus delivery in England and Wales.
In response, Mr Norman assured that the government is on track to fulfil its policy, working closely with companies to establish robust supply chains capable of scaling up to meet the magnitude of orders required.
He provided a breakdown of the number of buses ordered so far, totalling 3,429, which he confirmed is well on track to meet the government’s target.
Desmond Swayne, Conservative MP for New Forest West, invited Mr Norman to visit Morebus, serving his constituency, where he claimed that their new buses produce fewer emissions than his lawnmower.
The local MP acknowledged the comment, agreeing to discuss the matter further, and later said the debate marked a step forward in the move towards a greener future.