The government has launched a £2 million competition in which UK businesses will apply for grants of up to £500,000 each in funding for innovations aimed at decarbonising local transport.
The Transport Decarbonisation Demonstrators programme, which will open on 27 November and close on 8 January, is designed to encourage the private sector to work with local authorities to develop and trial transport schemes that cut emissions. Half of the £2 million fund will be reserved for rural areas.
The Department for Transport (DfT) says the aim is to support research and development solutions that can demonstrate the potential to reduce transport carbon emissions in local areas and facilitate collaboration between LAs and businesses.
Those applying will be able to request funding of between £100,000 and £500,000. Successful projects will start on 1 June 2024, end by 31 March 2025 and last 6-10 months.
The business will need to collaborate with an LA, which can include county councils, district councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and London boroughs, combined authorities, local transport authorities, integrated transport authorities, sub-national transport authorities and National Parks.
The scheme forms part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which was launched in 2021, and will be awarded and delivered by Innovate UK.
DfT adds this will strengthen the target of ending the sale of all non-zero-emissions cars and vans by 2035 – put back in September from 2030 – although it has not given an indication of the dates which will apply to coach, bus and minibus.
Mike Biddle, Executive Director Net Zero at Innovate UK, says: “Taking a place-based approach to decarbonise our transport systems is critical if we are to reach our net zero targets both locally and nationally and prosper from the transition to net-zero.
“Innovate UK are delighted to be working with the Department for Transport to invest £2 million in innovation projects aimed at not only reducing emissions, but also building key partnerships between local authorities and businesses which will ensure maximum impact.”
To apply for the Transport Decarbonisation Demonstrators programme, click here.