Chris Ames 25 November 2020

Spending Review: Sunak recycles money for green transport

The chancellor has used the Spending Review to confirm billions of pounds for public transport, low emission vehicles and active travel, including adding more detail to Boris Johnson’s recent ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’.

Rishi Sunak said he was providing £120m for zero emission buses in 2021-22 – a specific commitment in the 10 point plan.

The Spending Review document states that ‘in combination with the Department for Transport’s existing commitment to complete the first All Electric Bus Town this financial year, [this] will support delivery of over 800 cleaner, greener, quieter zero emission buses, helping to deliver the Prime Minister’s commitment to 4,000 of these buses’.

The announcement of Britain’s first fully electric bus town in February outlined around £50m for around 200 electric buses, suggesting that the new cash will provide another 600.

Mr Sunak also repeated an announcement by Mr Johnson of a £1.3bn fund to accelerate the rollout of public electric vehicle chargepoints. As Transport Network has noted, at least £500m of this was announced in the March Budget.

The official document states that the Government will ‘invest’ a total of £1.9bn in charging infrastructure and consumer incentives to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles, including £582m for the Plug-in Car, Van, Taxi, and Motorcycle Grant until 2022-23, ‘reducing the sticker price of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles for the consumer’.

A third headline spending commitment from Mr Sunak was for £257m for cycling and walking in 2021-22, which the spending document describes as ‘part of the Prime Minister’s £2bn commitment to cycling and walking across the parliament’.

The pledge of £2bn also included £250m for what were originally emergency active travel measures, of which the remaining £175m was awarded earlier this month, suggesting that the first two years of the parliament will see only a quarter of the cash spent.

For more on this story, visit Transport Network

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