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Plans set to get more cities using electric cars

Plans set to get more cities using electric cars

Plans set to get more cities using electric cars

In a bid to reduce the country's carbon footprint, a new government and industry-backed eco-programme has announced its proposals for expanding the number of electric vehicles in 12 UK cities.

The Go Ultra Low Cities programme, which is being run by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), will share £35 million of funding in York, Northern Ireland, Dundee, London, Leicester, Milton Keynes, the North East, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, the West of England and West Yorkshire.

Speaking about the move, transport minister Andrew Jones, said: "We are determined to maintain international leadership on the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

"I look forward to seeing the winning ideas for greener, cheaper cars in action. This funding for eco-cities is part of our £500m funding programme over the next five years to support British industry and achieve our ambition of almost every car, bus and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2050."

The latest proposals will help to see thousands more electric vehicles being used on the city streets over the next five years, with drivers replacing their fuel-powered cars for these eco-friendly alternatives.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, added: "We will work closely with the winning regions to help increase motorists' awareness of the variety, economy and practicality of ultra-low emission vehicles through innovative schemes that incentivise purchase, increase use and enhance infrastructure."

A number of ways for boosting electric vehicle uptake have been put forward, including the introduction of electric car clubs, replacing council fleets with electric models, improvements to charging infrastructure, offering additional grants for those switching to electric vehicles through a scrappage scheme, and launching tax efficient salary sacrifice schemes to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

An eco-friendly work ethic

In an initiative that supports the rollout of programmes like Go Ultra Low Cities, businesses are being encouraged to adopt more eco-friendly ways of travelling to work. This involves getting workers to consider using electric vehicles and pushbikes as alternative ways to travel.

The latest move comes from the east London borough of Havering, where eco-friendly travel is being encouraged to help the area achieve better levels of air quality and improve residents' wellbeing.

Roger Ramsay, leader of Havering Council, said: "Traffic is building up so much on our roads and I think these alternatives are the way things are moving and we should encourage that.

"Air quality is a hot topic now and with increasing population in London it is going to get worse."

Although air pollution in Havering is below the regulatory threshold for London, there are spots around transport links where pollution levels sometimes reach higher levels.

The council recommends the use of apps such as Stravel, which work to monitor daily travel and airTEXT - a feature that enables people and businesses to get updates on air quality levels in the borough.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock