Electric cars could be given priority on the roads at five cities across the UK under new government proposals.

Ministers have proposed clean air zones for five cities by 2020 and, as part of the new initiative, local councils within the zones could create new road layouts giving electric vehicles preferential treatment. Among the benefits they could receive are special parking spaces, lower charges, priority at junctions and even the right to bypass one-way systems in special lanes.

The five clean air zones, in London, Southampton, Leeds, Birmingham and Nottingham, have been proposed in a bid to meet European limits on air pollution. The UK government has set itself a target of reducing the country’s carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, says: “What’s clear is the Government is very much behind a move to make the country’s roads more electric vehicle-friendly. Any incentives to get people switching from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric are very welcome and I’m sure existing adopters of the technology will be pleased to hear their journeys could get even easier.”

The government is currently consulting its plans for clean air zones with the public. The proposals will not affect private care owners, but will see the most polluting commercial vehicles, like old buses, taxis, coaches and lorries, discouraged from entering the zone through charges.

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