Transport plans will reduce emissions
14 October 2010
Regional development minister Conor Murphy has confirmed that a bid for electric car infrastructure funding as part of the 'plugged in places' initiative would be made for the north of Ireland, at the launch of the workplace travel plan for Newry & Mourne District Council.
The bid will be made jointly for the Department for Regional Development and the Department for the Environment.
Murphy said: "I congratulate Newry and Mourne Council for introducing a workplace travel plan which offers staff sustainable travel alternatives such as public transport, car-sharing, park and ride, park and share options as well as walking and cycling, as realistic options for the work journey. These small measures will help to relieve local parking and congestion problems and improve public travel connections across the area."
He went on: "I also welcome the progress of a joint DRD and DOE bid for the plugged in places initiative which offers funding for electric vehicle infrastructure. This represents an exciting opportunity to kick start the use of electric vehicles in the north. As the technology progresses we recognise the need for publicly accessible charging infrastructure to help drivers recharge when they are away from home in key destinations like retail and leisure facilities, in work and car parks."
Environment minister Edwin Poots added: "The executive has set a target of reducing greenhouse gases by 25 per cent by 2025 but emissions from transport are still increasing. I see the use of electric vehicles, ideally powered by electricity from renewable sources, as an excellent way to decarbonise transport and contribute to our climate change, air quality and noise objectives.
If the bid is a success, the plugged in places funding will be matched by funding from the consortium backing the bid, which will include representatives from local government, the motor industry and the IT and energy sectors. This cooperation is an aspect that Murphy is keen to promote.
"In these times of limited financial resources it is very encouraging to see public and private sectors working together in a cutting edge area," he said. "This has the potential to project an image of the north as a dynamic and innovative region. This initiative will have a positive impact on both the economy and the environment and I wish the team every success for the next stage."