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£300m investment to herald flying urban taxis and freight-carrying drones

Flying urban taxis and even freight-carrying drones could take to the UK skies under new £300m investment announced by the Government.

The investment will ensure the UK leads the way internationally in designing and developing technology, from electric taxis to drones delivering parcels

Intended to pave the way for cleaner, greener forms of transport, the investment will bring £125m from the Government matched by industry co-investment of up to £175m to fund a Future Flight Challenge competition.

The move was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, where he urged world leaders to take greater action to tackle climate change.

A £5m cash injection is also being provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to enable five new transport research networks to develop electric planes and cleaner jet fuels. The new transport research networks will be led by the University of Birmingham, the University of Leeds, the University of Durham, Cardiff University and University College London.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “New technologies like electric and autonomous aircraft can help us tackle climate change, making journeys greener and working better for passengers.

“This funding will support the extraordinary talents of UK industry and academia, and demonstrate our country’s position as a world-leading transport innovator.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.