Press release -
LEAVE YOUR CAR AT HOME TWICE A MONTH FOR GOOD OF PLANET URGES BUS OPERATORS
Leave your car at home twice a month for the good of the planet, urges bus operators
- Switching one in 25 car journeys to public transport would save the UK two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions
- Public transport and active travel (walking and cycling) are part of the Government’s Green Ten Point Plan
- Earth Day (22 April) encourages individuals to think how they can help to Restore Our Earth
Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel are urging motorists to consider a minor change in their travel habits to make a major difference to the planet this Earth Day.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, the bus operators are asking car commuters to consider leaving their vehicles at home just twice a month for the rest of the year and switch their journey to bus, rail or bicycle.
Motorists typically make around 600 car journeys annually. Switching just one in every 25 of these journeys to a bus – equivalent to a couple of trips a month – would reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes per year.
This is in line with the UK government target for a reduction in 68% greenhouse gases by the end of the decade, and the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation of shifting from private cars to buses.
Saving two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to the environmental gain that would be made by switching every single one of the UK’s buses from diesel to zero emission energy sources, such as electricity or hydrogen.
Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Managing Director said "Earth Day encourages us to think how we, as individuals, can reduce our negative impact on the world. Taking public transport is not only a great environmental option; it is the ethical option. If everyone switched to the bus a couple of times a month, we could collectively rebuild our communities and avoid a car-based recovery from the pandemic. It would help improve air quality in our communities and reduce congestion."
Private cars account for 55% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Buses account for just 3% of emissions, and one double-decker bus has the potential to take as many as 75 cars off the road.
In addition to being a benefit to the environment, public transport offers health advantages – people who commute typically get 25 minutes’ exercise a day by walking at either end of their journeys.
Last year we invested £2.4M in eleven new ultra-low emission vehicles. More than two-thirds of our fleet now meet the Euro VI emissions standard, helping improve air quality in Oxfordshire.
An Oxford City Council air quality report recently revealed with NOx emissions from buses has decreased by half since 2013. Buses now contribute less pollution than cars in Oxford city centre.
City Sightseeing Oxford, owned by Oxford Bus Company, introduced the first electric double decker bus to the city last year.
Buses are clean and safe, Covid-19 secure and customers are welcome on board.
The Oxford Bus Company has kept the people of Oxford moving since 1881. Our services now span the width and breadth of Oxford and also take passengers to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. In addition, our City Sightseeing Oxford hop-on, hop-off open topped bus company provides enjoyable tours of Oxford. And our sister companies, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses provide convenient travel services across South Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire respectively.