A £560 million fund to encourage green transport initiatives is at the heart of a local transport White Paper from the Government.
As well as tackling climate change by cutting carbon emissions, the White Paper will also contain initiatives that will encourage growth in the economy.
Launching the White Paper, Transport Minister Norman Baker will stress the Government’s belief that action at local level delivers gains at national level.
The document will also set out how local authorities will be given more freedom to decide on their own transport projects, cutting red tape and encouraging innovation in both urban and rural areas, and details the measures central Government will be taking to encourage walking, cycling and increased use of public transport.
Examples of existing innovative schemes which cut carbon and help jobs include the Wheels to Work scheme in the Yorkshire Dales which offers apprentices and trainees the loan of a motorcycle which helps them take up local job offers where they need transport.
Another example is the Carshare Devon scheme which has resulted in 150,000 trips shared per year, bringing carbon and congestion savings to the county.
The White Paper builds on other steps taken to hand back power to local communities, including the £1.4 billion regional growth fund and the new local enterprise partnerships which bring business and civic leaders together.
Mr Baker said: “A good transport system is vital in our efforts to deliver two key Government priorities: to help grow the economy and to reduce carbon emissions.
“Investment in local sustainable transport can deliver quick gains with both objectives, which is why, even in these difficult financial times, we are providing an unprecedented £560 million to take this agenda forward.
“We are clear you can have your green cake and eat it. Money invested wisely in local transport initiatives can both help the economy and cut carbon. It’s a win-win for local people and for the country as a whole.”