News Releases

Stagecoach calls for tougher action on local air quality as it launches annual Green Week campaign

01 Jun 2017

  • Group outlines series of policy suggestions for local and central Government
  • Ninth annual sustainability drive takes place from 5-9 June
  • Customer, community and employee initiatives to raise environmental awareness

Stagecoach Group today (1 June 2017) called for tougher action on air quality to protect local communities across Britain as the company launched its annual Green Week campaign.

As global concern grows over increasing pollution in towns and cities, the company said urgent action was particularly needed by central and local government to tackle the public health emergency.

Research shows that too many cars and worsening traffic congestion is a major contributor to the 40,000 to 50,000 early deaths a year in the UK from air pollution. The problem is linked to cancer, asthma, strokes, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia, with children, the elderly, and the poorest in society are most at risk. The issue also has a financial cost to the country of over £20billion a year.

To tackle the problem, Stagecoach is calling for:

  • continued investment by public transport operators in cleaner vehicle technologies
  • tougher tax regimes and use of clean air zones to target vehicles and journeys which contribute most to pollution on a per-passenger basis
  • focused taxpayer support where it will deliver the best value environmental benefit
  • clearer promotion of switching from cars to public transport as the most effective route to tackling the twin scourges of urban congestion and air pollution
  • targeted public investment in bus priority measures and better transport interchanges

Detailed research by Prof David Begg for Greener Journeys has highlighted that across the country the congestion crisis is turning people away from bus travel and putting jobs in the industry and wider economy at risk.

Other research too has shown recently that Britain’s roads are now the most congested in Europe and that time wasted in the UK’s worst traffic jams will cost motorists £62billion by 2025.

One full double deck bus can remove up to 75 cars from the road – thus freeing up road space, reducing overall emissions levels and helping to improve air quality.

But in order to achieve the kind of reliability and journey times that make buses more attractive to potential customers, operators urgently need input from politicians and local authorities to free up road space for buses, to deliver bus priority measures and to implement bus friendly policies.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “Public transport has a crucial role to play in helping Britain beat the scourge of traffic congestion, pollution and poor air quality. Our cities are clogged with cars and people are literally dying as a result and we urgently need our politicians to take tough action on congestion to free up road space and let buses flourish.

“Our commitment to our environmental responsibility is central to our business and we are continuing to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint as well as working more widely with our partners to protect our environment. Green Week is a good chance for us to highlight our key messages around this but our work to tackle the challenge of climate change is something that goes on all year round.”

Stagecoach’s ninth annual Green Week – with the theme ‘Delivering Solutions’ - begins on World Environment Day - Monday 5 June – which is a widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action when people from all walks of life can come together to ensure a cleaner, greener outlook for future generations.

Throughout Green Week, Stagecoach aims to further raise awareness of environmental issues among staff and passengers through a series of events across the Group’s businesses. These will include green initiatives and competitions held in partnership with local schools across the country, a series of roadshows across the UK, employee and customer competitions, social media initiatives, interactive online activities and participation in local community events by Stagecoach employees.

Stagecoach is mid-way through a five-year environmental strategy, Shared responsibility, shared future, which has been produced in partnership with the Carbon Trust and sets out a package of investments at the Group’s bus and rail businesses.

It follows a 30% reduction in Stagecoach Group’s carbon intensity since 2007-08 and the achievement of previous targets 12 months ahead of schedule.

By April 2019, the Group is aiming to further reduce carbon emissions from buildings and fleet, lower water consumption and improve its waste recycling rate.

Stagecoach Group has already been awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its global carbon footprint, becoming the first public transport operator to have its boundaries certified outside of Europe.

For further information about Stagecoach Green Week visit www.stagecoach.com/greenweek

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: media@stagecoachgroup.com

Notes to Editors:

A copy of Stagecoach Group’s Sustainability Strategy can be found at the following link - http://www.stagecoach.com/~/media/Files/S/Stagecoach-Group/Attachments/pdf/stagecoach-group-sustainability-strategy-2015-2019.pdf

Stagecoach Group

  • Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 40,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
  • Stagecoach is one of the UK’s biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK.
  • Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast rail franchise. It also has a 90% shareholding in Virgin Trains East Coast, which operates the East Coast rail franchise.
  • Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
  • In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,300 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.