Announcing a ‘wholesale shift’ from diesel to zero-carbon modes including electric and hydrogen traction, Go-Ahead says it is aiming to achieve a fully decarbonised rail fleet by 2035, and to switch its 5 000-strong UK bus fleet to zero emission vehicles.
UK: Rail and bus operator The Go-Ahead Group has signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative for ratification of its ‘industry-leading’ timetable for carbon reduction, it announced on July 14.
Go-Ahead wants to achieve a 75% cut in its emissions by 2035, and become carbon neutral by 2045.
The company anticipates that its ‘exacting’ targets will be achieved through a combination of investment in zero-carbon technology, a crackdown on waste and a significant increase in the reuse and recycling of materials. These would be accompanied by initiatives to encourage active travel, with the company calling on the government to encourage modal shift from car use to walking, cycling and public transport.
Announcing a ‘wholesale shift’ from diesel to zero-carbon modes including electric and hydrogen traction, Go-Ahead said it was aiming to achieve a fully decarbonised rail fleet by 2035, and to switch its 5 000-strong UK bus fleet to zero emission vehicles by the same date.
Asked about plans to deploy battery trains on Southern’s diesel-worked London – Uckfield and Ashford – Hastings routes, the company told Rail Business UK that it expected ‘the Uckfield and Marshlink lines to be upgraded using electrification or alternative technologies’ in line with Network Rail’s commitment to decarbonisation by 2040.
The operator aims to deliver air quality improvements by 2025 through a 17% drop in carbon monoxide emissions, a 49% cut in hydrocarbons, a 63% fall in nitrogen oxides and a 50% cut in particulate matter from vehicles. It also plans to reduce its water consumption by 25% over the next four years through ‘responsible’ management and a significant reduction in leakage. Overall waste volumes are to be reduced by 2025, with at least 60% to be recycled.
Noting that Go-Ahead has already achieved a 22% reduction in emissions since 2016, Chief Executive David Brown said ‘climate change is the number one challenge facing society and in order to address it, we must make radical changes to the way we travel. If we’re serious about protecting the health of our planet, then businesses such as Go-Ahead must show leadership. We will play our part by decarbonising our business and by investing in environmentally sustainable technology. Our climate change plan is ambitious but deliverable, and is consistent with international goals.’