Funding bid to boost buses, car sharing and electric vehicles

PUBLISHED: 19:22 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:22 22 August 2019

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk Conservatives

Millions of pounds could be pumped into Norwich to boost car sharing and promote alternative transport including electric vehicles.

Norfolk County Council wants to provide comprehensive travel information for all transport modes via an app, boost provision for electric forms of transport including buses, cycles and car club vehicles, and encourage sustainable and shared transport.

It hopes to do that via a Shared Future Mobility Zone, which would cost an estimated £24.6m.

The authority is due to agree details of the funding application for the project on September 2 at its Norwich headquarters and will request £16.2m from the Government's Future Mobility Zone fund.

That fund is a £90m pot of capital funding made available to areas on the shortlist for the Government's £1.2bn Transforming Cities Fund.

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Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "By investing in better technology and infrastructure at the same time, they can work hand in hand to help relieve congestion, reduce carbon emissions and improve our strategic transport links."

The council is one of seven applicants which has made it through to the second and final stage of the bid for the Transforming Cities Fund.

Mr Wilby said: "Working with our Greater Norwich partners and stakeholders, we're planning to support the Transforming Cities programme of sustainable transport improvements with a system that provides the tools people need to make more informed choices about how they travel."

According to the council report, the authority wants to "present users with information on shared mobility options that brings about significant reductions in levels of single-car occupancy".

This includes public transport, Park and Ride, car club vehicles, car sharing, taxis, bike share and electric scooters.

The report added: "Surveys have shown that an average of 85pc of private vehicles travelling across the Greater Norwich area today are single occupancy, rising to 95pc during peak commuter periods. There is significant benefit if we are able to reverse this trend and maximise the efficiency of the transport network."

A funding decision is due before Christmas.

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