Vince Cable favours "exciting" plans for green motor festival
BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has said plans to hold a Formula One-style karting festival in Cheltenham are "exciting" and could help to promote emerging car technologies.
The Government minister was visiting the town to give a talk on the future of green transport as part of the Sustainable MotoExpo.
Speaking to the Echo after the talk, the Liberal Democrat gave his backing for plans to transform the town centre into a race circuit for high-speed karts and green-powered vehicles which could go ahead in 2015.
"I think it's an exciting idea and if it is approved by the local councils then it should go ahead," he said.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"The final decision on whether it happens should be down to the people who live here. But if they decide that's what they want then why not?"
Mr Cable was offered a ride in hydrogen-powered and electric vehicles on show in the inner Promenade as part of the expo.
Earlier he told a packed audience in the town's Municipal Offices he expected a boom in electric-powered vehicles.
"One of the interesting things about electric vehicles is why it hasn't happened sooner," he said. "The key question is – what do we need to do to make them work commercially?
"A lot of big car companies are about to launch electric car production on a big scale. I think a lot is going to happen in the next 12 months."
He bemoaned the country's "chronic" shortage of engineers and said more needed to be done to encourage young people to take up the subject.
He also spoke about a £400million Government programme aimed at developing low carbon vehicles.
He added: "We are putting a lot of resources into apprenticeships and there is a big increase in the number of people taking engineering subjects at university.
"In order to capitalise on that we've got to change the mentality of young people and get them enthusiastic about vocational training."
Mr Cable was joined on a panel of speakers led by Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, and Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood. Mr Horwood praised organisers of the event.
"One of the brilliant things about the expo is it has put some of these emerging technologies in front of people," he said.
"Things like this and the science festival are really important in that respect.
"I am very proud that Cheltenham is playing a big part in pushing science and engineering forward."