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Government funds £260 million to improve air quality

Air pollution story

A £220 million Clean Air Fund is set to tackle roadside emissions, which is part of a £260 million plus package from the government to improve air quality.

The UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations was produced by the government in July 2017, and outlined that councils with the worst levels of air pollution at busy road junctions and hotspots must take action in the shortest time possible.

A range of options local authorities could consider to utilise the government’s fund include new park and ride services, freight consolidation centres, concessionary travel schemes and improvements to bus fleets have been set out.

£40 million from the £255 million Implementation Fund has been awarded to support local authorities to take immediate action improve air quality.

The support local authorities will receive includes:

  • £11.7 million to the 28 local authorities with the biggest air quality challenges to help carry out the work needed to develop air quality plans, including securing resource and expertise
  • £24.5 million to the same 28 local areas to support a range of measures to take action locally. Such as installing electric charge point hubs in car parks, junction improvements, bus priority measures, and building cycle routes;
  • £2.4 million from the 2017/18 Air Quality Grant for local community projects to tackle air quality at a grass roots level.
  • £1.65 million to support the 33 local authorities that have been asked to conduct targeted feasibility studies to identify measures that could bring forward compliance dates within the shortest possible time

Thérèse Coffey, environment minister said the "funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to support the local momentum needed and continue to improve our air now and for future generations”.

She added: “Improving air quality is about more than just tackling emissions from transport, so later this year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy. This will set out how we will address all forms of air pollution, delivering cleaner air for the whole country.”

Documents setting out the UK’s plan for reducing roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations can be found on the UK Government website.

Read more:

Leading role for local authorities in UK plan to improve air quality

Government publishes strategy to combat climate change

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