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UK unveils £2m transport decarbonisation competition with rural focus

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The UK government has launched a £2 million local transport decarbonisation competition and reserved half the fund for projects prioritising rural areas.

Jointly operated by Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT), the Transport Decarbonisation Demonstrators programme is hoped to encourage the development of green transport systems across the country, offering residents more transport alternatives. 

The programme will be open from 27 November to 08 January. Businesses can submit their proposals within this time period and request funding from between £100,000 and £500,000 which will be awarded by Innovate UK if successful.

“The purpose of the competition is to support innovative R&D solutions that can demonstrate the potential to reduce carbon emissions in local areas and facilitate collaboration between Local Authorities and businesses,” Senior Media and Communications Manager of Innovate UK PJ Taylor told Zag Daily.

It is hoped that reserving £1 million for entries from rural areas will help local communities reap the benefits of technology, provide better access to jobs, and also reduce the rate of loneliness.

“It’s vital that we decarbonise mobility everywhere. Reserving half of the funds for rural areas is a recognition that a lot of efforts have already been focused on urban environments, and that rural areas including national parks need attention too,” said PJ.

A proposal must meet a range of requirements such as identifying the capacity of the Local Authority to support the project, detailing the potential to reduce harmful emissions from the existing transport system, and demonstrating the consideration of a place-based approach and how the solution benefits the local area.

“It’s important that the innovation activity will support local strategies or plans, such as a Local Authorities’ Local Transport Plan (LTP) or Net Zero strategy,” added PJ.

This initiative is part of the government’s larger Decarbonisation Transport Plan outlining its vision for net zero transport. 

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