'Greenest Government ever' ramps up subsidies for motor vehicles

£200k p.a. Cycling England was scrapped but low-carbon cars get £300m. And it’s not just pure-play electric cars getting a boost, the Toyota Prius electric/petrol hybrid is also benefitting from a £5000 sweetener

The Department for Transport has unveiled nine cars which will benefit from massive subsdies, paid for by UK taxpayers. While Cycling England was scrapped – it cost just £200,000 a year to run – up to 60,000 rich car buyers seeking second, third and fourth cars will be subsidised.

The first nine cars to become eligible for “eco-friendly” car grants are: Mitsubishi iMiEV; smart fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroen CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt. More will follow next year.

The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from 1st January, reducing the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000.

The Toyota Prius can run for 12.5 miles on batteries but then switches to petrol power.

By the time the DfT’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund is up and running many Local Authority cycling officers will have been made redundant. This fund is £560m over four years and will be shared between walking, cycling, and local transport.

However. the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), a cross-Government team, “bringing together existing policy and funding streams to drive and streamline policy delivery” is very well funded.

£400m is available to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. £300m of this will “support consumer incentives for the life of the Parliament.”

Putting 60,000 new cars on the road – even if non-polluting at source – will make negligible difference to the UK’s CO2 output from transport and electric cars cannot, of course, reduce congestion. Encouraging car use is also bad for the nation’s health.

Cycling, on the other hand… you know the rest.

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