Nottingham City Council’s bid for Government money to help achieve a low carbon, sustainable transport future has been successful.

And Nottingham has been chosen to host a visit by Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP on Monday 25 January to announce the four national winning OLEV bids.

A collaboration between the City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Derby City Council has been awarded with £6.1m to help develop a ‘Go Ultra Low City Scheme.’ Nottingham is one of four cities awarded a share of £35m Go Ultra Low City fund provided by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The OLEV money will be used to develop an electric vehicle charging network, a city centre Clean Air Zone to improve air quality, a showcase for technological innovation in low carbon and encouragement for both businesses and residents to switch to Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs), which incorporates pure electric, plug-in-hybrid and range extended vehicles.

Nottingham is also bidding for further OLEV funding – including a £0.9m Electric Bus Project bus charging network, a £25.5m joint bid with Nottingham City Transport to introduce 82 gas double deck buses, plus also bidding for a share of £20m to develop an electric taxi fleet and support for private hire vehicles.

These moves would build on the council’s investment in green public transport – including a tram system free of emissions where it runs, one of the largest electric bus fleets in Europe in operation on the Linkbus network and significant improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport, said: “Being successful with this £6.1million award enables Nottingham to become a hub for low carbon, future-proofed transport. This funding will shape our vision to become the UK’s greenest transport city, with effective, joined up and environmentally positive transport. Taken together with all the other bids we have submitted for ultra low carbon funding, it is clear that we have unrivalled ambition to establish the UK’s best sustainable transport offer for residents, visitors and the business community.”

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low said: “We’re excited to see the innovative ideas put forward by Nottingham become reality over the coming months. The £6 million funding by Government, combined with local investment, will transform the roads for residents in and around the city.

“With thousands more plug-in cars set to be sold locally, cutting running costs for motorists and helping the environment, this investment will help Nottingham gain recognition as one of the most sustainable transport cities in Europe. Initiatives such as the city centre Low Emission Zone, allowing electric vehicles to use bus lanes, a ULEV business support plan and investment in the technology centre are sure to appeal to drivers and inspire other UK cities and local authorities to invest in the electric revolution.”

An event has been organised at the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee campus, with the Right Honourable Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, announcing the four winning OLEV bids. An array of electric cars from the Go Ultra Low campaign collaborative consortium will be on site featuring Audi, BMW, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen cars.

Funding will support initiatives to:

  • Creating a shared electric bus and Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) priority corridor running east to west across the city
  • Developing a Clean Air Zone for buses, coaches and taxis, linking to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ recently announced plans for the city by 2020
  • Supporting businesses to invest in ULEVs through grants and incentives and taking a leading role in supporting the public sector to convert its fleets to ULEVs
  • Creating a city that enables easy ULEV use through the introduction of rapid charging infrastructure for buses, taxis, cars and vans at workplaces, key destinations and our Park & Ride sites
  • Supporting alternative fuel technologies research and trials in partnership with low carbon businesses, and creating opportunities for training and education
  • Utilising our leading position as the most energy self-sufficient city in the UK for local energy generation through Enviroenergy (which produces energy through local waste) and the recently launched Robin Hood Energy company to power the local transport system.