The Prime Minister has urged people to proceed with caution as restrictions are eased, and we continue our cautious but irreversible roadmap out of the pandemic. Thanks to the sacrifices of people across North Cornwall, the success of our vaccine programme and falling infection rates, last week, we were able to take one small step to freedom with the relaxation of some restrictions including people meeting up with loved ones outdoors. As we continue along our roadmap, we must proceed with caution and continue to build the immunity of our population. For many, April will be the ‘Second Dose Month’ and we encourage everybody to take up their appointment when their turn comes as we push forwards with our efforts to offer a vaccination to all adults by the end of July. As part of our fight against this virus, we are also building up our long-term UK manufacturing capabilities. GlaxoSmithKline will be carrying out the final stage of the manufacturing process for the Covid vaccine in England, giving us 50 to 60 million doses of UK made vaccine subject to approvals of the MHRA. Whilst we encourage everyone to have fun and get outdoors in the good weather, it is vital we continue to remember to wash our hands, cover our face, give people space and only meet others in the fresh air.
As you may have seen in my previous columns, the government is pushing a nationwide agenda for better public transport. The project is picking up speed and we have announced up to £120 million to roll out zero emission buses across England – helping to deliver net zero by 2050 and improving air quality across the country. As set out in our £3 billion National Bus Strategy published in March, we are making buses better in this country, ensuring they are greener, cheaper, more frequent and more reliable. Now we are getting on with delivering our vision, by providing up to £120 million to allow local authorities to bid for funding for up to 500 zero emission buses across the country, as part of our wider commitment to introduce 4,000 zero emission buses and supporting local authorities to reduce carbon emissions from their local public transport. This scheme is another step forward in achieving our net-zero ambitions and improving air quality in towns and cities across the country as we build back greener from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Air quality was also at the forefront of my mind last week when I was asked to write a letter of support for the Camelford bypass business case. I was more than happy to do so, as the bypass has been a key pledge of mine for several years. We have the unique opportunity to deliver a legacy project that will have positive economic, environmental and health benefits for generations to come. I wholly support the Camelford bypass and will continue to be a strong advocate for its construction.