Coach travel: why we need to get onboard
11th March, 2009
Mark Anslow explains why the Government’s bottom line is trumping our most efficient form of transport
A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure,’ goes the quote most often attributed to Margaret Thatcher. What she would have made of a man of the same age who found himself aboard a national coach service is a sentiment perhaps best kept to the Iron Lady herself.
It comes as something of an awkward surprise for most people to learn that the coach is, in fact, by far the most efficient form of surface transportation bar the bicycle. Emitting just 30g of CO2 per person per kilometre, the coach knocks the car (110g), the tram (70g) and even our beloved railways (60g) into a cocked hat.
The discovery is rarely greeted with an upswell of optimism. Rather, it tends to summon up memories of draughty, chewing-gum-mottled concourses, the acrid waft of diesel exhaust and views of stationary traffic through grimy, rain-streaked windows.
But the coach’s environmental credentials really are impeccable: not only does it have the lowest emissions on the road, but a full coach can remove up to a mile of car traffic from our motorways by simply transporting the same number of people more efficiently. This means less overall congestion, and less pollution....
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