Memorandum submitted by National Express
1.1 This submission is made by National
Express Limited who runs a national network of scheduled and contracted
1.2 The National Express network carries
around 17 million passengers per annum. It is a totally commercial
operation and receives no direct subsidy to provide the services.
Since 2003 we have also been the major provider of network wide
half fare travel for the over 60s and disabled which is funded
by Department for Transport. Services operate seven days per week
and many routes operate through the full 24 hours.
2.1 Coaches are an extremely efficient form
of transport. The emissions of greenhouse gases on a per passenger
kilometre basis for our coach services is 32 gCO2e/pass.km.
The emissions from typical medium sized petrol car are 220 gCO2e/
km and the average for new cars 171 gCO2/km.
2.2 Through our customers using our services
instead of the car for their journeys there is a net saving of
greenhouse gas emissions. If we stopped running services and assumed
80% of customers travelled by car instead this would result in
an extra 294,000 tonnes of CO2e per year being emitted
2.3 In 2004 our coaches operations accounted
for less than 0.09% of CO2 emissions from transport
in the UK.
3.1 Our coach fleet is also extremely environmental
friendly in terms of local air pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides,
Particulates and Hydrocarbons. The reason for this is that we
have continued to invest in new modern vehicles. The average age
of our fleet being 4.3 years for our franchise network operation
and 5.5 years for our owned fleet.
3.2 New coaches with diesel engines that
comply with the latest Euro IV engine specification are less fuel
efficient than the older vehicles they replace. The reason for
this is that the new cleaner engines are less efficient than the
old engines. In addition to this new coaches have climate control
(which customers now expect as standard) and are heavier due to
their more accessible design. Consequently our baseline emissions
of greenhouse gases, and fuel costs, are set to increase. This
trade-off between mitigation for local air quality and mitigation
for climate change is well know and subject to a recent report
by the Air Quality Expert Group (www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/airqual-climatechange/index.ht).
4.1 The average speed of coaches has a major
impact on both fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. In urban
areas where average speeds are slow both the fuel efficiency (greenhouse
gas emissions) and exhaust pollutants are worse than at higher
speeds. Increasing the average speed from say 15 to 25 kilometres
per hour reduces the emission of CO2 by approximately
5.1 Currently there are very limited cost
effective options for improving fuel efficiency. Fuel is a major
cost in our operation so we have a big incentive to improve efficiency.
5.2 New technology such as hybrid engines,
which when available, have great potential to bring about big
improvements in both greenhouse gas emissions and exhaust pollutants.
5.3 The Government has key role to play
in terms of promoting the development of the new technology identified
in Powering Future Vehicles. It will also be critical that they
provide incentives to operators to enable them to early adopt
this technology. It is currently not clear that there will be
funding routes available for coach operators.
5.4 Improving the average speed of coaches
running on the road network, especially in and out of congested
urban centres, can result in large reductions in greenhouse gas
emissions than new technology. The DfT could do more to promote
greater bus and coach prioritisation measures in cities. Consideration
should also be given to prioritisation measures on busy motorway
or A road intersections with priority lanes and perhaps even hard
shoulder running on key motorway sections.
6. MODAL SHIFT
6.1 Promoting the use of public transport
instead of car or plane for journeys is the simplest way of reducing
the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. Despite
being potentially the most efficient form of mass transportation
coaches are often neglected by policy makers. Within the existing
service levels many more passengers could be carried without adding
additional journeys making coach even more efficient.
6.2 Our market research has shown that over
50% of the adult population are potential customers. Maintaining
low ticket prices and minimising journey time are critical factors
in growing the number of customers using our services.
6.3 The real cost of running public transport
has increased over the years whereas the real cost of the car
remains below 1980 levels. If this trend continues it will make
it increasingly harder to attract new customers onto our services.
Congestion charging will be a helpful tool in reducing both congestion
and making the use of the car more expensive.
6.4 Decreasing journey time of coaches on
the road network would be a key measure to help us grow patronage
and promote modal shift from road vehicles or low cost airlines.
Government can influence this by creating more prioritisation
for bus and coaches.
6.5 Government policy relating to local
air quality or accessibility has resulted in increased running
costs. Policy measures relating to climate have the potential
to reverse to this trend and benefit the most efficient modes
of transport which would include coaches.
6.6 Emissions trading is one of the key
policy measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Currently
transport is not included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
although it looks like aviation may be included in future phases.
Serious consideration should be given to how transport fits into
this system. For transport the most sensible metric to use is
emissions of greenhouse gases on a passenger kilometre basis.
Such a system should reward the most efficient forms of transport
such as coaches and thus promote modal shift. At current prices
the value of the net savings in CO2 identified in 2.2
is approximately £5.25 million at current EU ETS prices -
this would fund an extra new 30 coaches every year.
6.7 The current EU ETS is a cap and trade
system based on a historic baseline figure. It is difficult to
see how this EU ETS can be applied to the metric of greenhouse
gas emissions on a per passenger kilometre basis.
6.8 There is the very real danger that if
the EU ETS is applied to aviation that it will create perverse
incentives if then rolled out to other modes. The reasons for
this are baseline emissions from coaches and other forms of public
transport are likely to increase as older vehicles are replaced
with new modern engines and congestion on the roads becomes worse.
Despite this slightly increasing baseline coaches will remain
an extremely efficient form of transport with very large net benefits
in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
6.9 The Government should think seriously
about the implications of including aviation and other forms of
transport in the EU ETS.
58 This date is contained in the National Express
Group Corporate Responsibility Report 2004 and was prepared in
an independent assessment of our greenhouse gas emissions by the
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management. A copy of the report is
available at www.nationalexpressgroup.com Back