Latest Public Sector News

23.07.15

Free feasibility study to boost eight shortlisted Taxi Scheme bids

The eight shortlisted winners of a £20m fund to increase the number of local plug-in taxis have each received a government-backed feasibility study into environmentally-friendly travel opportunities in their area.

The potential winners will receive ‘vital’ insight into how local authorities could use the fund to “reduce the upfront cost of purpose-built taxis and install charging infrastructure for taxi and private hire use”, according to a government press release.

The studies will be backed by £30,000 of government funding and will be carried out independently by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

This will help inform their final bids for the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle Taxi Scheme backed by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, a government and industry- endorsed team comprising members from the Department for Transport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of EST, said: “Our experience in this area gives us every confidence that organisations as diverse as licensing authorities, car manufacturers , district network operators and charge-point installers can become leading players in rolling out ultra-low emission taxis and private hire vehicles right across the country.”

The winning schemes will be announced in April next year. The funding they receive will be a share of the larger £500m government investment in low emission vehicles over the next five years in an effort to fully expand this market until 2050.

The shortlisted bids to receive the feasibility study are the councils covering Birmingham, Cambridge, Coventry, Dundee, Nottingham, Oxford, and Sheffield, as well as West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Local authorities that are not shortlisted will still be able to submit bids for a share of the fund but will have to pay for their own study in order to apply by April next year.

According to transport minister Andrew Jones MP, plug-in taxis are cheaper and better for the environment, which is “why the government is investing £500m in low emission vehicles over the next five years to make them an accessible and affordable choice for all”.

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