Page 4: Planning for the future
In 2000, what is now the Department for Transport (DfT) published its Transport 2010 The 10 Year Plan (the government's transport plan). It was firmly backed by Go-Ahead because it works towards a truly integrated transport system.
It is crucial to create a seamless network of transport services taking us from school/university, work, home and leisure facilities. It aims to increase bus journeys by 10% providing more light-rail projects and more Park & Ride schemes.
The government is also looking at ways of charging people who use roads, including motorways and roads in city centres. This is in order to reduce congestion and pollution. The integration of transport systems is a key issue for the government and transport companies.
Another main issue for transport is the control of environmental impact. Go-Ahead takes its responsibility to this very seriously. Because more people already travel by car, this has had a poor impact on our surroundings. Public transport must therefore provide a viable and convenient alternative.
Go-Ahead has produced environmental and social responsibility reports on all its operations. The Group came top of the public transport companies that took part in the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index.
66% of public transport journeys are made by bus. Go-Ahead prides itself on operating fleets of buses that are well ahead of European environmental standards. They use ultra-low sulphur diesel as well as particulate traps, which cut exhaust emission levels and improve air quality in cities.
Expanding Go-Ahead's services
Go-Ahead is looking at more ways of forming convenient public transport systems involving the mixing of bus, rail, aviation and car parking links to meet government policy and improve its service to passengers. Go-Ahead's other operations already create some of these but car parking for example, is a vital part of integrated transport.
Go-Ahead is responsible for 156 rail station car parks and a number of Park & Ride sites. Additionally it purchased Meteor (the third-largest operator of off-street parking in the UK in 2002) which has around 60,000 car-parking spaces across 20 sites.
The largest part of the business is airport parking. Services include:
- managing car parks
- car park security
- transporting people to and from terminal buildings.
Meteor operates under a number of brands, including Pink Elephant and e-parking. The business is growing to provide services at hospitals and shopping centres.
Another part of Go-Ahead, aviance, provides a range of airport facilities. The business loads and unloads commercial cargo from freight flights and provides baggage handling and check-in services for passenger airlines.
It also operates executive lounges and information desks, and manages aircraft slots and customs clearance. These services are offered at airports like Manchester, Birmingham and the main London airports.