Ross-on-Wye MP, Jesse Norman, has been actively pushing for the accelerated delivery of zero-emission buses in parliament. As the Minister of State for the Department for Transport, Norman reaffirmed the government's commitment to introducing 4,000 zero-emission buses and transitioning to a zero-emission bus fleet.
Norman highlighted the importance of sustainable public transport, discussing recent visits to Scotland by the roads Minister, Mr Holden. These visits 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. 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, 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 Minister Norman to visit Morebus, serving his constituency, where he claimed that their new buses produce fewer emissions than his lawnmower. Norman graciously acknowledged the comment, agreeing to discuss the matter further with Swayne.
This debate marks a crucial step forward in the move towards a greener future, with the Ross-on-Wye MP leading the charge for sustainable public transport and zero-emission buses. The community eagerly awaits further developments in this essential environmental initiative.