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UK cities urge more Government funding to fuel urban fleet switch to EV

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Transport authorities from major UK cities are urging the Government for more funding to help urban fleets make the switch to electric vehicles (EV).

The Urban Transport Group (UTG), which includes Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, London, Tyne and Wear, Sheffield City Region, West Midlands and West Yorkshire, has put a new 'Building back better on urban transport' paper together that urges the Government to give transport authorities enhanced and stable long-term capital and revenue funding, as well as greater developed powers to support a green recovery from Covid-19.

Part of this includes the decarbonisation of urban vehicle fleets ‘from taxis to trains and from buses to bin lorries’, switching to cargo bikes and electric vans for last mile deliveries and a coordinated approach to investment in vehicle fleets, local renewable power generation, public buildings, and housing and local grid infrastructure.

The UTG has also asked the Government to support “car restraint measures which are appropriate and realisable”.

Stephen Edwards, chair of the Urban Transport Group and executive director of South Yorkshire passenger transport executive, said: “Transport authorities proved their mettle in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping the wheels of public transport turning, getting key workers where they needed to be during the lockdown, and have since helped city regions to get back on their feet during the initial recovery phase.

“But to truly build back better from this crisis, they need the longer term funding certainty and powers necessary to respond adroitly and at scale to the challenges ahead, including climate change.

“This requires the same radical approach to policy change that we witnessed during the pandemic.”

The paper has been timed ahead of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, which will set out spending plans for the parliament and is due to be published this autumn.

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