Stagecoach boss says buses will take Swindon on road to recovery

By Barrie Hudson - 26 March 2021

BusinessCommunity

Stagecoach West managing director Rupert Cox believes the Prime Minister's £3bn plan to improve bus services will help Swindon.

Earlier this month, the Government unveiled its National Bus Strategy - known as ‘Bus Back Better’ - which identifies buses as a crucial part of the country’s recovery from the impact of covid.

The strategy, which has been designed to make buses greener, cheaper, and more frequent, highlights the importance of buses in helping both local and central governments to meet their targets to reduce carbon emissions. 

This will be achieved by accelerating the shift to ultra-low and zero emissions buses and reducing car use.

Mr Cox said: "Swindon has already made progress, with Swindon Borough Council investing in low emissions vehicles, solar energy farms and LED streetlights in support of its plans to make the city carbon neutral by 2030. 

"These ambitious targets have been supported by Stagecoach West, which has also invested in low-emissions vehicles for its local fleet. The new strategy will build on this progress and harness the huge potential of buses to tackle climate change and deliver better air quality.

"In addition to the environmental impact, the National Bus Strategy will also enable local bus operators like Stagecoach West to offer improved connectivity to local residents. 

"Buses already play an invaluable role in offering Swindon residents access to work, education, healthcare and leisure facilities. However, the plans detail a vision for a fundamentally better public transport network, which will allow operators to provide customers with additional services and truly realise the potential of buses."

Mr Cox added: "Stagecoach West already has a strong track record of investment, innovation and excellent customer service in the city, which has resulted in fantastic passenger satisfaction. However, buses aren’t yet operating to their full potential due to the Government’s reluctance to tackle car use. 

"The more cars that are on the road, the slower bus services become. Congested roads also lead to higher operations costs for buses. The National Bus Strategy will address this, making buses more accessible and simpler to use so that they become the transport of choice for residents.

"Following the devastating impact of the pandemic on our local community, we are passionate about helping Swindon, and the UK more widely, to build back better. The National Bus Strategy offers us the opportunity to do just this and support the economic recovery of the city post-covid. 

"If all partners, including bus operators, national government and local authorities, utilise the strategy, there is a major opportunity to transform the country’s bus networks, helping to connect our local communities, benefit the environment, and boost the economy."

More information about Stagecoach West’s commitment to offering frequent, affordable and environmentally-friendly bus services in Swindon can be found at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/about/west

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