Local authorities across England receive a share of £2.2m clean air funding award
The government moved forward with the latest phase of its air quality strategy yesterday with the award of £2.2m of funding to help local authorities curb air pollution across England.
The money, from the government's Air Quality Grant, is designed to support schemes which help councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and residents, reducing the impact on people's health and creating cleaner and healthier environments.
The cash is to be shared by 16 local authorities that have proposed projects and campaigns to reduce harmful emissions outside schools; encourage the take up of electric taxis; encourage more active transport through education, awareness, and the creation and improvement of cycling and pedestrian routes; and collect further data on the exposure to air pollution by vulnerable groups in order to better design future policies.
The latest wave of awards takes the total value of grants awarded under the scheme to more than £64m since it was launched in 1997.
"While air pollution has reduced significantly in recent decades, we know the impact that it continues to have on communities in the UK," said Environment Minister Rebecca Pow. "That is why the government is committed to not only improving air quality on a national level, but also helping local authorities take action in their own areas. The projects supported by this latest round of funding demonstrate how local authorities can deliver innovative solutions for their communities, and we'll be working with them closely to offer ongoing support."
Her comments were echoed by Transport Minister Rachel Maclean, who said: "It's important that we improve air quality in communities across the country, and these grants will help local authorities create cleaner, healthier places to live. From greener buses to improved cycling routes, we're determined to harness innovation to make low-carbon travel the norm."
The Air Quality Grant forms part of the government's wider UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Concentrations, which includes a £3.5bn investment into air quality and cleaner transport.
It also follows recent moves to pull forward the phase out for the sale of petrol and diesel cars, phase out the sale of coal and wet wood for domestic burning and encouraging the use of cleaner fuels in the home, and end tax breaks for red diesel used on construction sites.
However, the government continues to face criticism from some campaigners who have consistently accused the UK of breaching EU air quality standards and failing to move fast enough to curb pollution levels.
Despite heightened public concern about single-use plastics in recent years, UK household recycling rates fell in 2018
The UK government has today released a fascinating treasure trove of data revealing how the UK's cabron footprint is shrinking - BusinessGreen reveals the key trends
Two companies form joint venture to develop floating wind projects off the west coast of UK in the Celtic Sea
Sutherland Avenue in Westminster becomes UK's first residential avenue fully converted to provide lamppost electric vehicle charging points