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UK: Millions of pounds to fund electric cars is left ‘gathering dust’

MORE than £2 million of taxpayers’ cash handed to Scotland’s councils to spend on SNP government green transport schemes is lying unused in bank accounts.

The Scottish Government has allocated almost £8m to local authorities to encourage them to use electrical vehicles to deliver key council services. However, more than £2m of this money has still not been spent, according to figures released under Freedom of Information. Some councils have yet to spend any of their allocation, with a third of authorities not even having electrical charging points to power up the green vehicles.

The Scottish Government has heavily promoted environmentally-friendly transport and wants to subsidise green vehicles as part of its low-carbon vehicle support scheme. Ministers claim the planned increased use of electric vehicles will help reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 as well as leading to reduced costs for motorists.

South Lanarkshire had the biggest underspend, with £309,000 unused, while Edinburgh had £280,000 unspent and Fife £220,000 remaining, the figures released by councils showed. The underspend means that of the £7.8m handed to councils, about £5.5m has been spent by local authorities on the programme since 2010.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone called on SNP ministers to have the unused millions of pounds redeployed to key areas that he said were starved of funds. He said: “What is the point in giving councils money to be spent on environmental initiatives which are clearly not a priority for them? What’s worse, this £2m of unspent cash could have been used far more wisely in services people actually need and care about.
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