Major progress on northern green transport after record investment

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  • more than £600 million investment has supported sustainable and low-carbon transport initiatives right across the region
  • expansion of green transport and infrastructure includes almost 100 ultra-low emission buses
  • Transport Secretary calls on local councils and businesses to apply for further funding available

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will today (16 May 2019) celebrate record levels of investment in green transport in the north but will make clear that action to tackle transport emissions cannot stop there.

Speaking at the Northern Transport Summit in Manchester, the Transport Secretary is expected to set out how this government has overseen the investment of over £600 million in green transport across the north. However, he will point out that millions in funding is still available through a range of green schemes and will call on local councils, businesses and consumers to take full advantage of this.

Schemes running include funding for public, home and workplace chargepoints; an e-cargo bike fund to help businesses make cleaner deliveries; and a range of schemes and funding for mayoral combined authorities to test transport innovation.

Only 2 local authorities in the north have bid for funding from the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme in 2019/20 so far. This funding is a key part of the government’s plan to make the UK the best place in the world to own and use an electric vehicle.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

We’re determined to make our transport greener than ever, and through the Transforming Cities Fund and investment in improving electric vehicle infrastructure, we’re making great strides in achieving that across the region.

But local authorities and businesses have a key role to play if we want to accelerate the use of low-carbon transport and clean up our air. I urge them to take advantage of the funding available as we move together towards a zero-emission future – and to a Green Northern Powerhouse.

Through the Transforming Cities Fund, £576 million has already been invested across the north-west, north-east, and Yorkshire and the Humber to support public and sustainable transport infrastructure, encouraging an increase in journeys made by low-carbon modes across the region.

Alongside this, £57 million has been invested this year to expand green infrastructure and vehicles in towns and cities across the north, resulting in the installation of hundreds of new electric taxi chargepoints and over 90 new ultra-low emission buses.

These schemes will help to address air quality issues where people live, shop and work, and help encourage the use of cleaner vehicles.

Major successes include:

  • through the Go Ultra Low Cities grant, Fastned and the North East Combined Authority have recently delivered the UK’s first 350kW ultra rapid charging hub in Sunderland, near the factory where the Nissan Leaf is produced for the entire European market
  • the recent Ultra Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure competition will help deliver over 200 chargepoints that will support the introduction of an estimated 515 ultra-low emission Hackney Carriages and 2,600 ultra-low emission private hire vehicles across Newcastle, Manchester, Lancaster and Sheffield
  • the Ultra-low emission bus scheme will help deliver 93 electric buses and support charging infrastructure across the region
  • Liverpool’s City Region is using Transforming Cities funding to transform busy commuter corridors into green bus routes, and to deploy 25 hydrogen-powered buses
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority invested £243 million of their Transforming Cities allocation in their Bee Network walking and cycling network and in additional Metrolink trams across the city to increase frequency of services
  • 30 double-decker fuel cell buses and 2 hydrogen refuelling stations are being installed in Merseyside, and 2 hydrogen refuelling stations in the Tees Valley.
  • cycling infrastructure projects are being supported with Sustrans, including in Whitby and Huddersfield

Funding remains available in 2019/20 through schemes including:

The Transport Secretary’s call for local authorities, businesses and consumers to engage with these funds comes following the publication of the comprehensive £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy in 2018, which sets out the government’s ambition to end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.

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