Smart Transport

Local authorities awarded £5m for innovative air quality projects

Local authorities across England have been granted more than £5 million in Government funding to deliver innovative projects to improve air quality.

Some of the schmes that have won funding include initiatives to encourage the uptake of electric taxis and a Clean Air Villages 4 (CAV4) scheme from Cross River Partnership (CRP), which aims to deliver sustainable freight solutions.

The money, from the Government’s Air Quality Grant, has been put in place to help councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.

The application process especially welcomed projects to tackle fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which is known to be the pollutant of greatest harm to human health.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010 but remains the greatest environmental risk to human health.

“This funding demonstrates our commitment to improving our air and also our openness to innovation, through pioneering initiatives such as campaigns to encourage greater use of electric bikes and education programmes teaching children about the harms of fine particulate matter.

“We know local authorities are in the best position to address the issues they face in their areas.

“These projects demonstrate how they can deliver innovative solutions for their communities and we will continue to work with them closely to offer ongoing support.”

“...There is a genuine opportunity to build back better…” - Kate Fenton, project manager at CRP

The CAV4 project will be led by Westminster City Council and will deliver solutions ranging from; multiple shared electric van schemes for local businesses and charities; zero-emission cargo bike schemes across air pollution hot-spots in the capital; 14 dedicated Clean Air Routes between high footfall destinations; and an online resource, the CRP Clean Air Villages Directory of businesses and manufacturers offering deliveries, services and products via ultra-low emission methods.

Solutions will cover all aspects of business operations, from the consolidation and distribution processes of goods, to the zero emission modes of transport, the technology to support them, and the policy elements to ensure they are robust and fit for the future.

Kate Fenton, project manager at CRP, said: “At times, the pandemic has given us a glimpse of what quieter, cleaner roads can look like for our health and our communities.

“For those businesses and organisations out there that have been fortunate enough to survive, there is a genuine opportunity to build back better.

“This includes committing to and implementing solutions that will result in fewer polluting emissions. 

“We are keen to work on both a local and cross-borough level in London on freight solutions that will result in better air quality.”

The local authority schemes receiving funding in this round are:

Local authority Project
Bedford Borough Council Behaviour change and awareness project delivered in nurseries, schools and a university to encourage reduced car journeys, anti-idling and organise school street closures at pick up and drop off times
Blaby District Council Working with schools, local businesses and citizens to encourage behaviour change. Improvements to air quality monitoring and data for traffic management modelling
Brighton and Hove City Council Retrofit of 17 Double decker buses. Working in partnership with Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council, Worthing-Adur District Council, and Wealden District Council
Bristol City Council Particulate Matter monitoring and engagement programme to increase awareness and encourage behaviour change towards domestic burning
Buckinghamshire Council Pilot of employer salary sacrifice scheme to encourage a shift to electric vehicles
Cambridge City Council Purchase of sensors to monitor air quality levels to develop behaviour awareness campaign and inform future action to reduce Particulate Matter
Cherwell District Council Anti-idling campaign at level crossings, schools, hospitals and doctor's surgeries
City of York Council Feasibility study to reduce emissions for first and last mile light good deliveries in York and pilot of micro-consolidation centre
Colchester Borough Council Engagement with community to encourage behaviour change to improve air quality. Trialling of Pay as You Go electric cargo bike club
Essex County Council Collection and analysis of Air Quality and transport data to develop traffic management measures. Working in partnership with Colchester Borough Council
Hammersmith & Fulham Council Development of a borough wide construction site monitoring website
Islington London Borough Council Partnership with General Practitioners to train them as Air Quality Champions to deliver Air Quality improvement messages in GP surgeries
Leicester City Council Particulate Matter data gathering and mapping study to inform public engagement campaign
Liverpool City Council Schools Particulate Matter education and awareness programme supported by Air Quality data gathered by pupils with portable monitoring devices
London Borough of Camden Installation of electric points for use by licenced ice cream vans
London Borough of Lambeth Street by street mapping of Particulate Matter to form awareness programme
Oxford City Council Development of Air Quality community website. Working in partnership with Cherwell District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, and Oxfordshire County Council
Oxford City Council Particulate Matter campaign to raise awareness and change behaviour towards domestic burning
Sandwell MBC Working with the Faith Community to raise awareness and change behaviour to improve local Air Quality
Sefton MBC Air Quality Creation of a public interactive immersive room teaching children about air quality. Enhancement of existing website to engage and support all Sefton Primary schools to learn about Air Quality
Slough Borough Council Encourage take up of electric taxis through behaviour and awareness campaign
Southampton City Council Particulate Matter data gathering to raise awareness and encourage improved practices for domestic burning. Working in partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council Winchester City Council, and New Forest District Council
Spelthorne Encourage take up of electric taxis through behaviour and awareness campaign. Working in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Guildford Borough Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Waverley Borough Council, Woking Borough Council, and Surrey County Council
Staffordshire County Council Engagement with schools and businesses to encourage behaviour change to improve air quality, and delivering events promoting electric vehicles. Working in partnership with Cannock Chase District Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
Tunbridge Wells Behaviour and awareness campaign delivered through an interactive digital educational package aimed at primary school children and their parents. Working in partnership with Canterbury City Council
West Berkshire Council Air Quality Anti-idling campaign for 3 boroughs and purchase of sensors to monitor air quality levels to develop future action to reduce Particulate Matter. Working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council
Westminster City Council Engagement feasibility study to develop solutions for canal boat electric charging infrastructure
Westminster City Council (Westminster Cross River Partnership) Expansion on Clean Air Village 1, 2 and 3 - Engagement and behaviour change project that will implement a range of freight solutions in order to clean up London's air. Working in partnership with Westminster, London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, Islington, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Kent County Council
Wokingham Borough Council Schools education programme to raise awareness and encourage active and sustainable travel choices. Development of Mobile app to help local commuters make sustainable travel choices

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