The Government has announced a shortlist of 11 local authorities and one Stormont department that are in line for a share of a £35m fund to help them become centres of excellence for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV).
The news comes as a further £30m bidding scheme is launched by the Department for Transport to help local authorities and bus operators improve the green credentials of local fleets and associated infrastructure.
The £35m Go Ultra Low city scheme will reward cities that demonstrate the most potential to become ‘internationally outstanding examples’ of ULEV take-up.
It is expected between two and four cities will be announced winners in the autumn, with those shortlisted invited to further develop their proposals over the summer.
The shortlist consists of:
· Greater London Authority
· West Yorkshire Combined Authority
· North East Combined Authority
· City of York Council
· West of England
· Milton Keynes Council
· Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland
· Oxford City Council
· Nottingham City Council
· Leicester City Council
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: ‘This 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.
‘Today’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.’
Ministers also announced £30m for the Low Emission Bus Scheme to enable local authorities and bus operators to replace existing vehicles and infrastructure.
The main aims of the fund include helping increase the uptake of low and ultra-low emission buses, supporting the improvement of local air quality and supporting UK investment.
Any English or Welsh local authority or bus operator can apply for funding from today until 31 October, with guidance and forms found here.
As well as procuring greener buses, the fund is set up to support the purchase of new infrastructure such as standard, fast and inductive charging equipment, gas (this includes portable or fixed) and hydrogen refuelling systems.
Baroness Kramer added: ‘The additional £30m investment in low emission buses is also a fantastic opportunity for local authorities who want innovative, cost efficient public transport in their communities.
‘This can help to transform people’s quality of life in their cities and build a stronger economy and is an important step towards our 2050 vision, when almost every car and van in the UK will be an ultra-low emission vehicle.’
Guidance states there will be no caps on bids although where the total funding request exceeds £5m, the bid should demonstrate how it can be scaled down.