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‘Go Ultra Low Cities’ share £40m funding to promote EVs

Cities including London and Bristol have been named as ‘Go Ultra Low Cities’ and will share £40m funding to promote electric vehicle take-up.

Bristol, London, Milton Keynes and Nottingham are the main benefactors of the scheme, with Dundee, the North East, Oxford and York sharing seed funding for EV specific projects.

The funds will be used to roll out technology such as rapid-charging hubs and street lighting that can double as charging points, along with driver incentives such as free parking and access to bus lanes in city centres.

The initiatives are intended to boost plug-in car numbers by around 100,000 across the UK by 2020 and to serve as best practice case studies for other UK regions.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition with £40m to help the UK become international pioneers of emission cutting technology.”

Specific initiatives include London’s ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, which will prioritise ULEVs in several boroughs across the Capital and has been awarded £13m. Proposals include Low Emission Zones that offer parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles.

Milton Keynes will receive £9m to open a city centre Electric Vehicle Experience Centre to provide consumer advice and short-term vehicle loans. The city also proposes to open up all 20,000 parking bays for free to EVs, give plug-in vehicles the same priority at traffic lights as local buses, while also having access to bus lanes.

Bristol has been awarded £7m give ULEVs access to three carpool lanes in the city and introduce a plug-in car leasing scheme.

And Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6m of funding to install 230 charge points and offer plug-in owners discount parking, plus access to bus lanes in key routes across the city. The investment will also pay for a new business support programme letting local companies ‘try before they buy’.

£5m in development funding is also being awarded for specific initiatives in Dundee, Oxford, York and North East regions, including commuter charging hubs in Dundee.

Natalie Middleton

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