Part of the Nottingham Eco-Expressway, which will begin construction in summer of 2017, has been designated as the UK’s first electric vehicle-only lane
Electric vehicles will have privileges which will allow them to use the bus lane along the route. The route covers six miles and is being funded by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The city was awarded a share of the government’s recent £40 million fund to promote the use of electric vehicles. While other cities have done so through spending the money on more charging points for EVs, Nottingham chose the Eco-Expressway.
Part of the Eco-Expressway will tie in to Nottingham’s Cycle City Ambition project, but it also integrates a new bus lane, which will be used by electric buses.
Nottingham city council’s portfolio holder for growth and transport, counciller Nick McDonald, said: “The Eco-Expressway is an exciting new development that grows our commitment to low-emission transport further. It will provide quicker and cleaner travel and help to improve the city’s air quality.
“The new cycle route will include another cycle superhighway for rapid and safe cycling and the new all-electric buses are an exciting step forward towards sustainable transport in the city.”
Although new to the UK, the dispensation for EV drivers to be able to use a special lane already exists in parts of the US, where electrified vehicles, plug-ins and mild hybrids can use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Ahead of construction commencing, Nottingham City Council held a public consultation about the then proposed Eco-Expressway. Residents expressed concern about the safety of cyclists and motorcyclists using the road, which have been addressed by the council.
The Eco-Expressway runs from Gedling, in the east of the city, to the Boots Enterprise Zone in the west.