BUDGET 2021: Go-Ahead Group urges further measures to support green transport

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Bus and rail operator Go-Ahead Group says that today’s Budget by Chancellor Rishi Sunak doesn’t go far enough with policies to encourage lower car use.

It says that levies on workplace parking, mobility credits and a scrappage scheme for second cars “would have been welcome.”

Key points:

  • Super-deduction could enable investment in green transport technology
  • Support for apprenticeships will be a boost for career switchers
  • Go-Ahead calls for more measures to get people out of their cars

Says Go-Ahead Group, Chief Strategy and Customer Officer, Katy Taylor (pictured): “We welcome the steps being taken to support struggling shops, pubs and restaurants on the high street.  

“Policies to reduce emissions by encouraging people to leave their cars at home in favour of walking, cycling or public transport would have been welcome – including levies on workplace parking, a scrappage scheme for second cars or mobility credits.

“We will be looking carefully at the Chancellor’s super-deduction scheme to understand if it will make it easier for the transport industry to invest in green technology – including electric buses, which are expensive upfront but deliver long-term returns in cleaner air and improved public health.”

Beginning April 2021, a new super-deduction will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment, meaning they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost. This is worth £25bn to companies over the two-year period the super-deduction will be in full effect, said the Chancellor today.

Adds Katy Taylor: “In the long term, rather than adjusting rates of fuel duty, it is surely time to consider a broader road pricing scheme which will encourage people to think harder about the social and environmental cost of private car usage.”

Go-Ahead Group, which plans to take on 1,100 apprentices this year across its bus and rail businesses, welcomes the Chancellor’s support for the scheme.

As part of the UK Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ to support, protect and create jobs, the Chancellor is increasing support with £126m of new money to enable 40,000 more traineeships, and doubling the cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice to a £3,000 payment per hire. 

Katy Taylor says: “The Treasury’s enhanced support for older apprenticeships will be a boost to all those who are changing career, either through choice or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year.  We welcome people of all ages and background who want to learn how to drive, or maintain, buses and trains.”

About Go-Ahead 

Go-Ahead is one of the leading public transport operators in the UK, connecting communities through bus and rail services. Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world.  

We employ more than 30,000 people across our bus and rail businesses in the UK, Singapore, Ireland, Norway and Germany. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to tackling climate change, poor air quality and social isolation. 

Bus 

Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. We run a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses across England and run a quarter of London’s buses for Transport for London.

Outside London, we serve high-density commuter markets in the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, East Anglia, the South East and the South West of England. We also operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland. 

Rail 

We operate rail franchises in the UK, Germany and Norway. We operate the largest rail operations in the UK – Southeastern and GTR (Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink).

This is managed through our 65 per cent owned subsidiary Govia, which is 35 per cent owned by Keolis.  In Germany and Norway, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead.  

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