Go Ahead and Siemens will run fringe meetings at this Autumn’s party conferences. The theme is ‘building a sustainable future for transport’.

Go Ahead Group is working in partnership with Siemens and public affairs specialist Dods to sponsor Building a Sustainable Future for Transport fringe meetings at the three party conferences this year.

The bus and rail group is anticipating a series of lively and thought provoking debates around the sustainability challenges facing transport today.
Go Ahead believes that the debate on sustainability continues to grow in importance. And it’s an issue which touches on a wide range of factors: reducing carbon emissions across its transport operations; supporting less well used railway lines through community rail partnerships; providing services which enable social inclusion and encouraging modal shift away from the car.

And, a Go Ahead spokesperson added: “Just as important, but little talked about, is the need to ensure we plan ahead so we have the right skills in our businesses to continue to grow and meet changing passenger requirements. We are only able to deliver change if we take passengers with us.”
For Go Ahead, reducing carbon emissions is a key corporate objective. The group has set a target for cutting emissions by 20% per passenger journey by 2015, and to date it has achieved a 12% reduction. It has also focused on introducing regenerative braking on its electric train fleets, achieving 100% capability at Southern, 54% at Southeastern and 93% at London Midland. The latter has led the way in UK rail by fitting domestic-style electric meters to 100 trains.

Go Ahead has cut its energy use at stations, offices and depots too, through installing smart meters and intelligent lighting. Fuel efficient driver training for its 10,000 bus drivers has meanwhile cut diesel consumption. Black box telematics technology has been installed on its 3,900 buses to monitor fuel use.

The group is a keen supporter of community rail, with a number of active and award winning partnerships across its train operating companies. These have helped deliver improvements such as better station facilities and services and integrated rail with other forms of transport.
Go Ahead is also an active participant in the UK-wide Greener Journeys campaign to encourage modal shift, recognising that as an operator it has a duty to provide efficient, modern and customer-focused services so that new passengers can be attracted and retained.

The group welcomes the campaign’s recent report calling for a step change for Britain’s buses to maximise their economic, social and environmental potential.

Go Ahead recognises that its staff are its key asset and that ensuring they are well-trained and have the skills and tools to do their jobs is important to the group’s ongoing success. Work-based training programmes are provided for staff, and talent is nurtured within the business through secondment schemes. The group also works with local schools and colleges to encourage young people to consider opportunities within
its rail and bus operations, offering work experience programmes and engineering apprenticeships.

Commenting on the forthcoming party conference season, the spokesperson added: “We look forward to debating these and other issues during the coming weeks and to welcoming colleagues and friends to our fringe meetings.”

THE SCHEDULE

Liberal Democrat party conference
When: 18:15-19:30, Tuesday, September 20
Where: Dods Marquee 2, Birmingham ICC

Labour party conference
When: 08:00-09:15, Monday, September 26
Where: Dods Room 1, Hilton Hotel, Liverpool

Conservative party conference
When: 08:30-10:00, Tuesday, October 4
Where: Dods Marquee 1, Manchester Central

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