YORK has been given £4.65 million to help cut pollution and carbon emissions by encouraging walking, cycling and public transport – and promoting electric vehicles.

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for city strategy at City of York Council, said he was “extremely pleased and excited” the authority had been successful in a bid for Local Sustainable Transport Funding.

He said: “Providing better quality walking, cycling and public transport alternatives, and encouraging local residents to use them in place of a proportion of local car journeys, is central to our strategy for tackling congestion.

“It will also allow us to promote electric vehicles that could help in due course to turn round the worsening air quality situation in several parts of the city and contribute to tackling climate change.”

He said measures might include travel planning for schools and businesses to reduce car journeys, improved bus information, new bus priority measures and cycle lanes.

The grant is part of a package of £155.5 million across the country.

Meanwhile, an emergency City of York Council budget for 2011/12 approved last week has earmarked an extra £203,000 for a scheme aimed at improving the city’s Park&Ride sites, bringing the authority’s contribution up to £500,000 over two years.

The Access York project, backed by The Press’s Get York Moving campaign, is bidding to win millions of pounds of Government funding to build two new sites at Clifton Moor and Poppleton and to replace the Askham Bar facility.