LABOUR ANNOUNCES £2BILLION GREEN BUS FUND TO POWER MUNICIPAL BUS REVOLUTION
Labour would fund a £2 billion People’s Green Bus Fund, Richard Leonard has announced at Scottish Labour’s manifesto launch today.
Scotland’s bus stock consists of around 4200 buses, many of which are in need of drastic improvement. Labour is today committing to funding the overhaul of Scotland’s bus stock to ensure that it is more environmentally friendly, efficient and cost effective. Our commitment will also put power back in the hands of local authorities by ensuring that they have the ability to deliver a Municipal Bus Revolution by accessing Labour’s Green Bus Fund.
In November this year, the Transport (Scotland) Act passed through the Scottish Parliament after being amended by Scottish Labour’s Colin Smyth to ensure that councils have the power to run their own bus services. Our plan will enhance these provisions by ensuring that local authorities can access the financial means necessary to implement the delivery of a Municipal Bus Revolution.
This fund will allow local authorities to access money explicitly earmarked for the manufacturing of Green Buses. In addition to ensuring that we transition to a greener economy, the capacity exists to build these buses in Scotland and could create up to 1400 high skilled, well paid, unionised jobs.
Forty per cent of all transport emissions are caused by car travel. Scottish Labour believes that if we are serious about tackling the climate emergency, we must make a transition to greener modes of travel and every effort must be made to ensure that our public transport is accessible, affordable and reliable. The current lack of accessibility and affordability means that in the past 10 years the number of journeys made by bus has plummeted by 20 per cent, while the average fare has increased by 11 per cent.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Across the country, the number of routes has gone down while the cost of fares has gone up. Communities, particularly in rural areas, have been left stranded. The deregulation of bus services has failed us.
“Fleet sizes are down. Staff numbers are down. Journeys are down – down by eight per cent in the last five years alone. Our ambition is that Scotland’s bus network will be greener, cheaper and more reliable for Scotland’s commuters.
“Which is why our Green Bus Fund has the power to spark a Municipal Bus Revolution that will deliver real change for the people of Scotland.”
Notes to editors:
- There are 4,200 buses in Scotland’s bus stock according to the Scottish Government’s Transport Statistics https://www.
transport.gov.scot/media/ 44025/scottish-transport- statistics-no-37-2018-edition.
- The average cost of an ‘E-Bus’ is £376,000, according to Labour Party Research
- Therefore, the cost of replacing all of Scotland’s existing Stock with Green Buses would be:
- £376,000 x 4,200 = £1,579,200,000
- Labour would create a £2billion People’s Green Bus Fund to help provide Local Authorities with the financial support to establish their own municipal bus services.
- This will provide cheaper fares, more frequent services and cleaner modes of transport, and will directly compete with the private sector
- As existing stock is taken off the road, there will also be scrappage fees, which have been fully costed by Labour. The cost of scrappage in Scotland would be £61,714 per bus. This is established by calculating the value left in each vehicle having been scrapped 5.4 years early [each bus has an average lifespan of 15.4 years. If they were scrapped at 10 years this would be the cost of scrappage]. That is why, within Labour’s Green Bus Fund, the £259,198,800 required to scrap all existing vehicles has been accounted for.
- Total cost of [potential scrappage] and build:
- £1,579,200,000 + £259,198,800 = £1,838,398,800;
- This figure represents the maximum cost as some buses could be retrofitted.
- These figures are conservative estimates; UK Party Research has shown that E-Vehicles will reach price parity by 2025, meaning that the cost per vehicle would drop by roughly a sixth each year as technology and facilities become more readily available. However, this £2bn fund has been justified as necessary through taking into account wage inflation.
- This policy and its costings are based on a managed decrease and replacement of stock over a 10 year period.