Local authorities win £5m for air quality projects

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

The funding, from the government’s Air Quality Grant, will assist councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.

Transport schemes that won funding included anti-idling and street closure schemes at pick-up and drop-off times outside schools; schemes to encourage electric taxis; educational programmes for schoolchildren.

The projects complement the wider UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, which includes a £3.5 billion investment into air quality and cleaner transport. The plan is supporting the uptake of low emissions vehicles, getting more people to cycle and walk, and encouraging cleaner public transport.

Proposals that won funding are in the table below:

Local authorityProjectAmount
Bedford Borough CouncilBehaviour 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£99,775
Blaby District CouncilWorking with schools, local businesses and citizens to encourage behaviour change. Improvements to air quality monitoring and data for traffic management modelling£139,300
Brighton and Hove City CouncilRetrofit 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£149,500
Bristol City CouncilParticulate Matter monitoring and engagement programme to increase awareness and encourage behaviour change towards domestic burning£122,597
Buckinghamshire CouncilPilot of employer salary sacrifice scheme to encourage a shift to electric vehicles£97,900
Cambridge City CouncilPurchase of sensors to monitor air quality levels to develop behaviour awareness campaign and inform future action to reduce Particulate Matter£44,855
Cherwell District CouncilAnti-idling campaign at level crossings, schools, hospitals and doctor’s surgeries£17,300
City of York CouncilFeasibility study to reduce emissions for first and last mile light good deliveries in York and pilot of micro-consolidation centre£297,237
Colchester Borough CouncilEngagement with community to encourage behaviour change to improve air quality. Trialling of Pay as You Go electric cargo bike club£248,700
Essex County CouncilCollection and analysis of Air Quality and transport data to develop traffic management measures. Working in partnership with Colchester Borough Council£249,755.57
Hammersmith & Fulham CouncilDevelopment of a borough wide construction site monitoring website£136,800
Islington London Borough CouncilPartnership with General Practitioners to train them as Air Quality Champions to deliver Air Quality improvement messages in GP surgeries£143,832
Leicester City CouncilParticulate Matter data gathering and mapping study to inform public engagement campaign£249,600
Liverpool City CouncilSchools Particulate Matter education and awareness programme supported by Air Quality data gathered by pupils with portable monitoring devices£131,954
London Borough of CamdenInstallation of electric points for use by licenced ice cream vans£100,000
London Borough of LambethStreet by street mapping of Particulate Matter to form awareness programme£31,158
Oxford City CouncilDevelopment 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£162,500
Oxford City CouncilParticulate Matter campaign to raise awareness and change behaviour towards domestic burning£45,000
Sandwell MBCWorking with the Faith Community to raise awareness and change behaviour to improve local Air Quality£75,760
Sefton MBC Air QualityCreation 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£122,500
Slough Borough CouncilEncourage take up of electric taxis through behaviour and awareness campaign£370,035
Southampton City CouncilParticulate 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£291,547.18
SpelthorneEncourage 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£256,686
Staffordshire County CouncilEngagement 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£296,828
Tunbridge WellsBehaviour 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£103,770
West Berkshire Council Air QualityAnti-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£259,406
Westminster City CouncilEngagement feasibility study to develop solutions for canal boat electric charging infrastructure£60,000
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£700,000
Wokingham Borough CouncilSchools education programme to raise awareness and encourage active and sustainable travel choices. Development of Mobile app to help local commuters make sustainable travel choices£125,000

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.”

Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “From promoting anti-idling to increasing the uptake of electric taxis, the Air Quality Grant will help to clean up our air as we look to build back greener and lower our carbon footprint.

“The funding announced today will take us one step closer to meeting our climate change obligations, improving air quality and supporting economic growth right across the country.”

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