Electric cars to be exempted from bus lane restrictions
Four cities in England win a share of £40m funding to improve facilities for electric car drivers
Electric car drivers in Nottinghamshire and Milton Keynes are to be allowed in bus lanes as part of a £40million Go Ultra Low City Scheme to encourage the use of low-emission vehicles.
Nottinghamshire and Derby, Bristol, London and Milton Keynes won a share of the £40m after cities across England pitched their ideas to boost electric car usage. Patrick McLaughlin, secretary of state for transport, said that these four areas won the funding because of their “exciting, innovative ideas”.
Milton Keynes Council is to rebrand bus lanes as “low emission lanes”, allowing electric cars access to them unrestrictedly, and there is also a proposal which would allow free parking throughout the town for all electric vehicles. The council, which received £9m of the funding, will also be opening a council-run advice centre, where Milton Keynes residents can apply for short-terms loan for the purchase of plug-in cars.
Nottinghamshire was granted £6m and has said it will use this towards installing electric charging stations throughout the city, as well as opening some of the city’s bus lanes to electric car drivers. However, Derby City Council has said that this move has yet to be discussed between councillors.
London was awarded £13m which will be used to offer free parking and install electric charging points throughout the capital; and Bristol received £7m of funding which the council will invest in 80 charging points, car sharing lanes and free residential parking.
The enthusiasm felt by the transport secretary and the winning councils, was not matched by some English citizens, including Jonathan Isaby, Chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, who commented: “Going green is a worthy goal, but why should already hard-pressed taxpayers be expected to subsidise the expensive choice of vehicle of such a tiny minority?”