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News in Brief: Low-emission vehicle fund, Scotland increases solar power use

Words: Laura Edgar

News in Brief: Tuesday 6th January, 2015

Funds for cities for low emission cars

UK cities can take advantage of a £35 million go ultra low city scheme to promote and support the use of ultra-low emission vehicles, such as installing points where electric cars can be charged and trialling new technology. Up to four cities, which are deemed to have the best proposals, will get a share of the money. Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “I would like to encourage local authorities to take up this fantastic opportunity. This can help to transform people’s quality of life in their cities and build a stronger economy.”

Somerset road raising work delayed

Work to raise Drayton Road, the main road into Muchelney, was due to be finished at the end of December 2014. However, as a result of bad weather, the work will not be completed until the middle of February. Last winter, flooding on the Levels left villagers cut off for two months and the main road closed for several weeks. To reduce the flood risk, Drayton Road is being raised by more one metre at its lowest point.

Solar power in Scotland increases

Scotland’s solar power capacity increased by almost a third last year, according to new Ofgem figures. December figures reveal that more than 35,000 homes and 600 business sites have solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems. With the capacity of these systems increasing from 106 megawatts (MW) to 140 MW last year, WWF Scotland are calling on the Scottish government to make the most of solar power.

English councils face large road repairs bills

Details of the costs facing councils come after the government announced it would be spending £6 billion on improving roads in England. Up to £100 million is needed to repair roads in Leeds alone, with councils in Gloucestershire and Islington facing bills of £86 million and £79 million respectively. Several Freedom of Information requests have been submitted to local authorities, revealing just what they face. Councils in Plymouth and Northumberland have thousands of potholes to repair between them, with the RAC questioning whether funding for potholes was really enough.

Decision needed on Gloucestershire incinerator

A decision on a proposed incinerator in Gloucestershire has been delayed three times since September last year by communities secretary Eric Pickles, but the government is now being urged to make a decision. The Conservative-led county council initially rejected the plans, a decision which was challenged by the developer. Five Liberal Democrat councillors have requested that a council meeting be arranged this month to discuss the situation, and would like Pickles to make a decision before the General Election.