Leave your car at home twice a month for the good of the planet, urges Go North East

3 weeks ago Thu 22nd Apr 2021

We're greener

  • Switching one in 25 car journeys to public transport would save the UK two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Public transport and active travel (walking and cycling) are part of the Government’s Green Ten Point Plan
  • Earth Day (22 April) encourages individuals to think how they can help to Restore Our Earth

Go North East is urging motorists to consider a minor change in their travel habits to make a major difference to the planet this Earth Day.

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, Go North East is asking car commuters to consider leaving their vehicles at home just twice a month for the rest of the year and switch their journey to bus, rail or bicycle.

Motorists typically make around 600 car journeys annually. Switching just one in every 25 of these journeys to a bus – equivalent to a couple of trips a month – would reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes per year.

This is in line with the UK government target for a reduction in 68% greenhouse gases by the end of the decade, and the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation of shifting from private cars to buses.

Saving two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to the environmental gain that would be made by switching every single one of the UK’s buses from diesel to zero emission energy sources, such as electricity or hydrogen.

Stephen King, commercial director at Go North East, said: “Earth Day is a great time for us all to reflect on how we go about our daily lives and what we can do to reduce negative impact on the world.

“By switching to bus just twice a month, it would be a great start in collectively rebuilding our communities and it'd also help avoid a car-based recovery from the pandemic.”

Private cars account for 55% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Buses account for just 3% of emissions, and one double-decker bus has the potential to take as many as 75 cars out of traffic jams.

In addition to being a benefit to the environment, public transport offers health advantages – people who commute typically get 25 minutes’ exercise a day by walking at either end of their journeys.

Environmental initiatives within Go North East include:

  • State-of-the-art electric buses provide zero-emission journeys around Gateshead and Newcastle on Voltra services 53 and 54
  • 61% of Go North East’s buses now meet enhanced environmentally friendly standards and the company is working harder to make them even greener
  • Clean energy powers 100% of Go North East’s sites

Since 2016, there has also been a 22% absolute reduction in carbon emissions across Go-Ahead Group, Go North East’s parent company, which includes both UK and overseas operations.

Buses are clean and safe, Covid-19 secure and customers are welcome on board.