FT Camberwell bus garage

The government has launched a public consultation seeking views on setting a specific date between 2025 and 2032 for ending the sale of new non zero-emission (at the tailpipe) buses. 

This would mean that, from 2032 at the very latest, the sale of all new buses, powered either in part, or totally, by an internal combustion engine, would cease to be allowed.

Any new buses sold from that date would need to be fully zero-emission at the tail pipe and the end of sales would apply across the whole of the UK.

Such a move aims to bolster the market for zero-emission buses, making them the default choice for operators to transition sooner.

In the consultation, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, Baroness Vere of Norbiton Minister, said: ”We have made significant progress in decarbonising the economy, but we need to go much further to achieve net zero. This must be a collective effort. Only by delivering our commitments will we bring about the benefits for the nation as a whole. Buses are one way to achieve that goal… That is why, as part of the National Bus Strategy, we committed to set a legal end date for the sale of new diesel buses; the scale of the challenge before us means that we have expanded this to cover all non-zero emission powertrains.

”The Transport Decarbonisation Plan set out the ambitious actions needed to decarbonise the entire transport system. This affirmed the crucial role that buses have to play in transport, achieving net zero and driving the green transformation. But it also recognised the challenges beyond buses, including driving the decarbonisation of coaches and other passenger transport modes. To support these ambitions, we are also therefore launching calls for evidence on ending the sale of new non zero-emission coaches and minibuses. These will allow us to gather evidence on the challenges to moving to a zero-emission fleet, what an appropriate end of sales date might be, and the extent to which government intervention is necessary to accelerate the transition.”

The government is inviting views on:

  • the challenges of transitioning to zero emission coaches and minibuses;
  • what would need to be true or in place to withdraw the sale of these vehicles;
  • what government could do to accelerate the transition to zero emission coaches and minibuses;
  • setting a realistic date to end the sale of these vehicles.

The consultation closes at  follows on from an initial consultation on ’Ending the sale of new diesel buses’ which ran from 15 March 2021 to 11 April 2021.