£100,000 of offer at first green transport prize awards

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ELECTRIC bubble cars and cargo bikes to deliver goods in busy cities are among the projects which will compete next week for £100,000 in the first Green Transport Prize awards.

A project to tap into electricity from street lights to charge electric vehicles is also on the shortlist to win the top prize of £50,000 at the event in Edinburgh. Two runners-up will get £25,000 each.

Entries from London, rural Wales and Gloucestershire are among the finalists at the awards, organised by The Scotsman Conferences. An entry from Auckland, New Zealand, made the final ten, but not the last six.

The six finalists include: Eco Transport Network, which provides lightweight electric vehicles reminiscent of 1950s bubble cars for visitors to the Brecon Beacons in Wales; CREST - a scheme to convert waste to fuel on the Thames; and ProntoPedal, a scheme to transport goods around town and city centres by cargo bike.

The other three finalists are: EcoPort, which offers sustainable charging points for electric vehicles, bikes and scooters; a different charging system using the street lamp network called GridPost; and an urban light rail project designed by the University of Gloucestershire.

“We are delighted by the wide range of innovative and impressive projects on the shortlist,” said Steve Tinsley, Director of Corporate Development at Edinburgh College, the main sponsor of the Green Transport Prize, along with the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh Napier University.

“We are especially pleased to have entries from across the UK. The original idea was to get lots of different entries from lots of different places - and we have achieved that. We have also managed to keep the quality really high – and we hope that the prize money will allow three of these six excellent ideas to establish themselves as viable green businesses.”

Keith Brown, Minister of Transport, who will speak at the event, said: “This event and the quality of the entries confirms the significance of Scotland in the green transport field. It is a place to come to highlight innovation, to share knowledge and to identify those ideas which can make a real difference to our transport systems in the 21st century. I applaud the organisers and all the finalists for their tremendous efforts - and irrespective of who wins, I hope all the ideas can help make the way we move people and goods around much greener and cleaner.”

Mandy Exley, Principal of Edinburgh College, will speak about how the college got involved in green transport through an electric vehicle monitoring project, while the final speaker will be Russell Imrie, chairman of event backers SEStran (South East Scotland Transport Partnership).

The winner and runners-up were chosen by a judging panel from industry, academia, public life and the media - using a wide range of different criteria - but the judges ranked the projects individually and none of them will know the identity of the winners and runners-up until awards night.

Entries were invited in a wide range of categories: rural or urban transport; water-based transport; logistics and freight; and sustainable transport options which could cut across national boundaries.

• The first Green Transport Prize awards will be held at the Scottish National Galleries on The Mound, Edinburgh, on the evening of Tuesday May 14th. For more details and to book a place, go to: http://www.scotsmanconferences.com/viewconference.aspx?id=31 It is hoped that the Green Transport Prize will become an annual award.