The British government has announced a $1.5 billion initiative to cut congestion on Britain’s roads by creating a network of private buses.
The scheme, called Prime Transport, will be announced on Monday at a meeting of the transport ministers of Britain’s 27 states, and will be funded by a levy on drivers of motorbikes.
Under Prime Transport the British government will pay the operators of private vehicles a fixed rate of one percent of their sales of motor vehicles.
To date the government has spent $1 billion on private vehicle infrastructure, including £1.7 billion on new buses.
Prime Transport will be the first time that the government will actually pay the drivers of vehicles.
The scheme will see drivers of private cars receive a rebate of 2 percent of the value of their cars, the Government said in a statement.
There are currently 2.5 million motor vehicles on the roads in Britain, the statement said.
“Prime Transport will ensure that these new vehicles are used by the most vulnerable members of society, providing a boost to local economies and increasing public transport choice for all British people.”
The British government is also considering the creation of a national bus rapid transit network to provide high-speed connections between cities, and a network linking London with other parts of the country.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said the scheme would help the country “reduce congestion and pollution”.
“We know that our roads are a vital part of our economy and our communities and our people need to have a place to get around in the best way possible,” he said.
“Prime Transportation will provide a boost for local businesses and local communities, helping to reduce congestion and air pollution while helping to tackle climate change.”
Britain has been grappling with rising levels of air pollution, particularly in cities such as London.
In the last three years air pollution levels have risen by an average of 12 percent.
It is also estimated that about 30 percent of Britain is currently suffering from chronic air pollution.
Prime Transport is set to include a new national network of high-quality bus routes, and is expected to increase public transport in the UK, where the government hopes to cut the cost of public transport to the point where it will be cost-free to the average consumer.
Labour has already committed to spending $1bn on public transport, but the Conservatives have said they are not in a position to make the necessary commitments.