Buses in Worksop and Retford produce no fewer emissions than a decade ago – despite passenger journeys tumbling
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The Local Government Association said buses can play a “huge role in reducing carbon and other harmful emissions”.
Bus emissions data is measured by the equivalent amount of oil the journeys would have produced and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero figures show buses in Bassetlaw produced 2.1 thousand tonnes of oil equivalent, ktoe, in 2021 – in line with a decade earlier.
The steady rate of emissions comes despite a significant reduction in people using buses.
Passengers in Nottinghamshire completed 17.8 million journeys in the year to March 2022, Department for Transport figures show, but in 2011-12, 34.4m journeys were made, a decrease of 48 per cent.
Across the UK, buses emitted 815 ktoe in 2021, down from the 1,372 ktoe produced a decade earlier.
Passenger journeys are not the only factor when considering the total emissions buses produce.
An LGA spokesman said: “Buses can play a huge role in reducing carbon and other harmful emissions as well as congestion, with a fully loaded double-decker bus being able to take 75 cars off the road.
“We need to reverse the decline in bus services and passenger numbers to help meet the country’s net-zero targets and keep our roads flowing and people and business connected.
“To help achieve this, the Government should fully commit to delivering its National Bus Strategy.”
The figures also showed an uptick in emissions from all vehicles on the UK's roads – more than 35m tonnes of oil equivalent was produced across the country in 2021, up from 32m in 2020 but still below every other year since records began in 2005.
In Bassetlaw, all vehicles emitted 112 ktoe in 2021. Personal transport, which includes all cars, buses and motorcycles, accounted for 52 per cent of this, while freight transport accounted for 48 per cent.
Petrol cars produced 29 ktoe, and diesel cars 26 ktoe.
The DfT directly linking reduced emissions with passenger numbers is “incorrect”.
A spokesman said: “Since February 2020, we have awarded more than £300m of dedicated funding for UK-built zero-emission buses and are on track to reach our commitment of supporting the introduction of 4,000 new zero-emission buses by the end of this parliament."