OXFORD Bus Company has confirmed it is not carrying out trials into electronic vehicles which Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth this week said he was supporting.

Mr Hudspeth made the statement after being asked to list five things his authority was doing to improve air quality in the city.

However, as reported in yesterday's Oxford Mail, the city councillor who asked the question, Tom Hayes, immediately had to inform the leader that the trials he was taking about, into induction-charged buses, never took place because Oxford Bus Company's bid for government funding was turned down.

The firm's managing director Phil Southall said yesterday: "We are not aware that the county council is supporting a bus induction-charging trial at this time."

That supposed support by the council was one of four specific actions Mr Hudspeth said the county was currently undertaking in what Mr Hayes called a 'woeful' response to his question.

The others were a feasibility scheme into creating a zero-emissions zone in the city centre, potential plans to encourage more people to walk and cycle and a proposed workplace parking levy or congestion charge.

The county council has now implied that it wants Mr Hayes to submit his question again to give the leader a second chance to answer the question.

Spokesman Martin Crabtree said: "Cllr Hayes acknowledged he would write again and we will respond to him."

Levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide are above EU legal limits in many parts of Oxford.