Government names 12 cities bidding for Â£35m fund, as well as separate Â£30m fund to boost local bus technology
Twelve UK cites bidding for a share of a Â£35 million fund to become â€˜centres of excellenceâ€™ for low emission vehicles in order to boost air quality have been shortlisted by the government today (March 11).
Part of the Go Ultra Low campaign, the city scheme is designed to reward cities that â€œdemonstrate the most potential to become internationally outstanding examples for the adoption of ultra-low emission vehiclesâ€ (ULEVs).
In addition, the city shortlist was announced alongside an al Â£30 million Low Emission Bus Scheme to enable local authorities and bus operators to replace existing vehicles with â€œgreener, cutting-edge alternatives to help clean up air qualityâ€.
Operated by the Office for Low Emission Vehicle (OLEV), the bus scheme builds on the Green Bus Fund, which ran between 2009 and 2013, delivering around 1,250 low emission buses in England.
The new three-year fund will support successful bidder in the purchase of low emission buses and infrastructure between April 2016 and March 2019, with no caps on the size of bids.
Announcing the funding packages today, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: â€œThis funding is an unequivocal signal from government that we are committed to making ultra-low emission vehicles a practical and viable choice for more people. Todayâ€™s shortlist of 12 Go Ultra Low cities from across the country is an important part of our effort to improve air quality and establish the UK as a global leader in the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.
â€œThe additional Â£30 million investment in low emission buses is also a fantastic opportunity for local authorities who want innovative, cost efficient public transport in their communities.â€
Business Minister Matthew Hancock added: â€œOur 12 strong shortlist containing cities from London to Dundee will now be whittled down to up to 4 to decide who will share Â£35 million of government funding. Supporting new technologies is a key part of our long-term economic plan.â€
The 12 shortlisted bidders, which have until August 31 to develop their proposals before winners are announced in the autumn, are:
Welcoming the news that York council has been shortlisted for the fund, City of York councillor David Levene, cabinet member for transport, said: â€œYork already has a proven track record in delivering and supporting low emission schemes. We want to continue to lead the way in order to deal with our air quality issues and this funding could really help us take this to another level. Weâ€™re delighted that our bid has been successfully shortlisted, which is testament to the hard work of theÂ council over the last four years.â€