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£40m funding for green cars in England

Words: Laura Edgar

Four English cities have been awarded funding to promote green vehicle technology after successfully bidding for a share of government money.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin named Bristol, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and London as the winners.

The £40 million comes from a Go Ultra Low City Scheme fund created to support the take-up of plug-in electric cars.

The government said the four cities will deliver a “roll-out of cutting edge technology”, such as rapid-charging hubs, street lighting that double as charge points and proposals that will give plug-in car owners extra privileges, including access to bus lanes in city centres.

The winning cities designed schemes that aim to encourage thousands of people to consider switching to a plug-in cars to improve air quality and support the UK’s green vehicle sector.

McLoughlin said the schemes proposed by Bristol, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and London are “exciting” with “innovative ideas”.

“The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040,” he said.

The breakdown

Bristol will receive £7 million to offer residents free residential parking for ultra-low emission vehicles, access to three carpool lanes in the city, over 80 rapid and fast chargers across the city. Additionally, the funding will go towards a scheme aimed at encouraging people to lease a plug-in car for up to four weeks to help them better understand the benefits of electric cars.

Milton Keynes will receive £9 million to open an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre that would offer advice and short-term vehicle loans. The proposals also include opening 20,000 free parking bays for electric vehicles and co-branding bus lanes as low emissions lanes, giving plug-in vehicles the same priority as local buses at traffic lights.

Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6 million to install 230 charge points and offer ultra low emission vehicle owners discount parking and access to over 13 miles of bus lanes along key routes across the city. The funding will also pay for a new business support programme allowing companies to try before they buy.

London has been awarded £13 million to create ‘neighbourhoods of the future’, in which ultra-low emission vehicles will be prioritised in several boroughs across the city. Proposals include over 12 streets in Hackney going electric with charging infrastructure such as car-charging street lighting. Harrow will develop a low emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles. London’s proposal aims to deliver 70,000 ultra low emission vehicles sold by 2020 and almost 250,000 by 2025.

Dundee, Oxford, York and regions in the north east will share £5 million of funding for specific initiatives aimed at “kick-starting a country-wide clean motoring revolution”.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, a campaign for ultra low emission vehicles, said the investment will help to place the UK at the forefront of the “global ultra-low emissions race”.

“Initiatives such as customer experience centres, free parking, permission to drive in bus lanes and hundreds of new, convenient public charging locations are sure to appeal to drivers and inspire other cities and local authorities to invest in the electric revolution.”

Image credit | iStock