Green light for UK’s first traffic lane dedicated to electric vehicles

Green light for UK’s first traffic lane dedicated to electric vehicles

A scheme to build the UK’s first traffic lanes for electric vehicles has got under way in Nottingham.

The lanes will form part of the six-mile Eco-Expressway that will be adapted from an existing route into the city.

Running in each direction of the road, the EV lanes will be accompanied by a cycleway and lanes for conventional vehicles.

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Nottingham was one of four cities to win a slice of £40 million worth of government funding in January.

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The money was set aside to pay for schemes aimed at encouraging the take-up of plug-in and hybrid vehicles in the UK.

London, Milton Keynes and Bristol were the other winners of the funding scheme.

These cities are all aiming to promote EVs by providing additional charging points and free parking, as well as priority road schemes.

The Government was recently criticised by parliament’s environmental audit committee for failing to promote electric vehicles.

According to MPs on the panel, ministers have failed to install sufficient infrastructure to support EVs.

Current forecasts indicate that the UK is likely to fall short of targets for electric vehicles to make up around 9% of the country’s car fleet by 2020.

This is despite separate figures from campaign group Go Ultra Low suggesting demand for EVs has risen by over a third in the past year.

An additional 400 electric vehicle charging points are also to be built in London by the end of the year, it has been announced.

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In Nottingham, electric buses are due to run on the Eco-Expressway too once construction is completed by late 2017, with the final cost expected to be £6.1m.

According to the city council, the scheme could also help to drive down pollution.

Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for growth and transport at the city council, said: “The Eco-Expressway is an exciting new development that grows our commitment to low-emission transport further.

“It will provide quicker and cleaner travel and help to improve the city's air quality.”

EV-only lanes are common in the US, where plug-in and hybrid vehicles are permitted to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

But the development in Nottingham is the first of its kind on this side of the Atlantic.

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