Four cities have been awarded significant funds to promote green vehicle technology after successfully bidding for a share of a £40m scheme created to support the take-up of plug-in electric cars across the UK.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the winners of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, including Bristol, Derby, London and Milton Keynes, after the successful cities proposed initiatives to support greener vehicles as part of a government competition.

The winning cities will deliver a roll-out of technology, such as rapid-charging hubs and street lighting that double as charge points, along with a range of proposals that will give plug-in car owners extra privileges such as access to bus lanes in city centres. Around 25,000 parking spaces will also be opened up for plug-in car owners.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition."