Electric cars allowed to use bus lanes in UK cities

Cities in the UK are going to allow electric cars to use bus lanes, as part of a government drive to encourage more people to purchase cleaner vehicles.

Derby and Milton Keynes will mimic Norway by allowing cars to drive in bus lanes, while electric car owners in Hackney will be able to plug in their cars to charge at street lights.

Milton Keynes are also allowing electric cars to park for free, alongside Bristol, while York drivers will be able to recharge at solar-powered park-and-ride stations.

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The schemes were announced by the Department for Transport as part of £40million funding to be shared out between eight towns and cities. London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Nottingham are the main places to benefit, although Derby, Oxford, York and Dundee has also received some funding.

The scheme will be hoping to replicate the success as seen in Norway, where incentives for people to choose electric cars has seen them account for nearly one in five of all new cars sold.

Electric cars are being seen as an important way for the UK to meet its carbon budgets and reduce the illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution that affects many cities in Britain.

While there are still not many 100 per cent electric cars the UK compared to combustion engines, the amount registered in 2015 nearly doubled on the year before, to just under 10,000.

London suffers the worst air pollution in the UK, and will get the largest portion of the funding, receiving £13 million which is being put towards “neighbourhoods of the future”, where electric cars will be prioritised over other vehicles.

The government have stated they will continue their long-running electric car grant, but it will decrease in April from the maximum £5,000 currently available to between £2,500 and £4,500 depending on which models the buyer chooses.

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