Next government should fund luxury electric coaches – charity

A fleet of luxury electric coaches should be funded by the next government to boost tourism and reduce car use across the UK, according to a new report.

Climate charity Possible said investing in coaches would be a “cheap and rapid way of shifting longer distance journeys from private cars”.

It stated that this would also encourage more people to take leisure trips to destinations within the UK.

Coaches are a “particularly valuable solution” to reducing carbon emissions from the transport sector” because of “how quickly they can be deployed” compared with projects to increase rail capacity, Possible said.

The report also called on the next government to deliver 300 miles of bus lanes on England’s motorways and major A roads by 2030.

Possible co-director Max Wakefield said: “We know we need to slash car miles to meet our climate goals, and some of the longest journeys up and down our motorways are being taken for holidays and leisure.

“It’s time to replace those traffic jams with a new fleet of luxury, electric coaches zipping to and from our most beautiful destinations.

“Luxury, electric coaches are a perfect decarbonisation option for longer journeys because we can get them rolling really quickly and really cheaply.

“With a new network of coach routes, we can cut carbon while boosting our economy and giving more people a much-needed holiday.”

Existing long-distance coach operators in the UK include National Express, Megabus and FlixBus.

Phil Smith, UK coach manager at industry association the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: “High-quality express coaches perform an important role as part of the public transport mix – offering affordable, sustainable travel over longer distances across the UK, including to many areas beyond the reach of the rail network.

“These services already provide a travel option that emits five times less CO2 per passenger than the same journey by air, and six times less than a car journey.

“Zero emission coaches will enhance this performance even further, so any inward investment to enable the coaching sector to accelerate its shift away from diesel vehicles will strengthen our ability to increase the contribution coaches make towards better air quality and less congestion on the nation’s roads.”