Edinburgh tour coach firm questions net zero targets as it attempts to go green

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Edinburgh-based Timberbush Tours has marked its 25th anniversary by rolling out a major coach replacement programme but its boss has rounded on the lack of charging infrastructure and government net zero goals.

The firm is in the process of taking delivery of £1 million of new vehicles ready for the 2023 summer season and is placing orders for a further £3m of vehicles over the balance of this year and into 2024. However, the company’s founder, Gary Voy, is urging the Scottish and UK governments to offer more support for the coach industry’s transition to net zero.

He said the options for viable vehicles that could allow a transition to zero emissions were very limited, while there was inadequate infrastructure to support them. Voy said: “There has been government support for the urban and rural bus industry - completely distinguishable from the coach travel market - as many embark on a shift to both electric and hydrogen vehicles but, so far, there is a lack of serious support for the coach travel industry to do likewise. Until very recently, the coach industry had not been recognised as a key part of that transition.”

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He added: “The challenge for the coach industry ahead of the phasing out of ‘non-zero emission vehicles’, expected in 2040, is the availability of vehicles and supporting infrastructure. We need quality, affordable, mass market vehicles that are fuelled by alternatives and critically, have adequate range.”

Timberbush Tours was founded in 1998 and provides guided tours across Scotland with departures from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and the North of England.

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