Government provides £21m funding to support green transport

The UK Government is providing £21m funding to councils across the nation through sustainable travel initiatives to boost local economies, promote healthier forms of transport and facilitate greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

A total of 23 transport schemes will be rolled out throughout Britain to “support people’s ambitions” of cheap, clean and healthy travel options to access jobs and education opportunities. Successful councils demonstrated an ability to reduce emissions, support social and economic growth and increase cycling and walking in their areas.   

Government Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Green transport cuts congestion and improves air quality. It also offers the cheapest and healthiest way for people to access jobs and education.”

“The schemes will make a real difference for residents and help provide better air quality for everyone. Our £21m funding shows we are committed to improving lives through investment in sustainable transport.”

Funding bid winners for the Sustainable Travel Transition Year revenue competitions include Birmingham City Council, which will receive £2.48m for its Walk To programme and Bristol City Council’s Travel WEST Transition project, which has been awarded £2.2m in funding.

Freight savings

The Government transport funding announcement arrives in the same week that a new freight air quality initiative in London published data to help increase the availability and uptake of low emission vans and lorries.

Part funded and monitored by Transport for London (TfL), LoCity is an industry-led programme helping the freight and fleet industry to reduce its impact on air pollution by increasing the use of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVS). The scheme has received the backing of more than 600 organisations from across the commercial vehicle industry, government and academia to make the widespread use of low emission vehicles a reality.

London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “The industry has an important role to play in saving lives by improving our air quality, and over the next five years LoCITY will play an important role in helping increase the take up of low emission commercial vehicles.

“The freight sector is by its nature dynamic, so it’s key that anything we do in London is aligned to initiatives across the UK – LoCITY takes this approach. The scheme will allow operators of commercial vehicles to make informed decisions with a useable, independent and jargon-free source of information on alternative fuels and vehicles.

“Every year thousands of Londoners die because of poor air quality and by supporting the freight sector – which is vital to our city – we will make a real impact. I am confident that LoCITY can substantially improve London’s air quality and most importantly, help save lives.”

Taxi for carbon

Increased efforts have been made in recent times to address the air quality issue in London, which led to the capital breaching its annual pollution limits in just one week.

Earlier this week, edie reported on the development of azero-emission London Black Cab vehicle, which received $400m funding from a Chinese automobile company to support the roll-out of a new generation of electric taxis across the city.

New London Mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed to improve London’s air quality by rapidly phasing out of diesel buses and taxis, to be replaced by a ‘clean bus corridors’ scheme and the implementation of a new hybrid or zero-emission double decker busesin the capital from 2018.

Heathrow Airport recently unveiled anew emissions reduction blueprint that puts an emphasis on tackling freight emissions through an online data portal.

George Ogleby

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