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LowCVP News Release: Government changes to BSOG remove bias against low carbon buses but provide no incentive says LowCVP

Thu 23 April 2009 | Back to news list | More bus news

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The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) welcomes the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport, Geoff Hoon, regarding changes to the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) which remove the inherent bias against fuel efficient low carbon buses. However, the provision of a 6p per kilometre additional payment paid for all kilometres operated by a low carbon bus provides only the equivalent BSOG payment that a diesel bus would receive. It does not provide the incentive promised by the Secretary of State when he announced the change in December 2008.

If low carbon buses are to be encouraged to play a valuable role in meeting the UK’s climate change targets then Government needs to share the risk that bus operators face in introducing new low carbon technologies into their fleets.

The BSOG was recognised as the main barrier to the introduction of fuel efficient/low carbon buses in the UK. In December, the Secretary of State announced that the BSOG would be revised to provide incentives for low carbon emission buses along with measures to link future BSOG increases to fuel efficiency improvements.

Following the announcement, detailed work by the LowCVP showed that an additional 6p per kilometre for low carbon buses would provide equivalence with convention diesel buses. To incentivise the purchase of low carbon buses, the Partnership recommended initial support of 12p per kilometre and that the Department for Transport fund a demonstration programme to encourage bus operators outside London to gain experience of the new low carbon technologies.

The LowCVP Director, Greg Archer commented: “The Secretary of State needs to go further to realise his commitments on BSOG to incentivise low carbon buses. This represents a missed opportunity to ensure that low carbon buses are given the stimulus needed to be adopted throughout the UK and play a significant role in tackling climate change. What is now needed is for bus operators to be given access to funds already announced to demonstrate low carbon vehicles. Without this the market for low carbon buses is likely to remain very small.”



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