The DfT has launched three separate initiatives as part of efforts to reduce emissions caused by cars, lorries and buses.
Under one scheme, unveiled on 28 March, lorries that meet the latest Euro VI emissions standards will receive a 10% reduction in the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) levy from February 2019.
The HGV Levy was introduced in 2014 as a first step to ‘ensure lorries pay a charge to cover the greater wear and tear they cause to road surfaces than other vehicles’. The DfT says the change to the levy will further incentivise the industry to choose less polluting lorries.
Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “Heavy goods vehicles account for around a fifth of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from road transport, but they only travel 5% of the total miles.
“That’s why we’re changing the HGV levy to encourage firms to phase out the most polluting lorries and bring in the cleanest ones.”
A second investment, also announced on 28 March, is designed to help councils and bus companies put more environmentally-friendly buses on the roads.
The programme will see local authorities and operators in England and Wales bid for a share of £48m, which can be used to purchase new ultra-low emission buses as well as the infrastructure to support them.
Nusrat Ghani, transport minister, said: “We are doing more than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas pollution across all modes of transport and are committed to ensuring nearly all cars and vans are emissions-free at their tailpipes by 2050.
“In order to achieve this ambitious target, the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and buses are no exception.
“We are confident this scheme will encourage councils and operators to invest in these ultra-low emission vehicles – speeding up the full transition to a low emission bus fleet in England and Wales.”
The final scheme, worth £8.8m, will set out to improve access to hydrogen refuelling stations across England.
The project – described as the largest expansion of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK – will see nearly 200 new hydrogen powered police cars and taxis on the roads from this summer.