Liberal Democrat MP announces £1 million investment into air quality projects across 28 councils
Local authorities are to receive £1 million in government funding to help improve air quality, Defra minister Dan Rogerson announced today (November 28).
Funded by the Air Quality Grant Programme, the investment will see over 30 projects launched in 28 local authority areas across the UK, with each to be awarded between £10,000 and £60,000.
Projects to receive funding include a scheme to encourage cycling in Chichester, the introduction of 20mph zones in Cambridge, and a feasibility study for changing road layouts and heavy goods vehicle routes in North Hertfordshire.
Announcing the investment, Mr Rogerson welcomed the work councils were doing to improve air quality and engage residents.
He said: “Local authorities have come up with some great ideas for improving air quality across our towns and cities.
“Air quality has improved significantly in recent decades and it’s vital we do everything we can to keep that going. Funding these projects is another important step and will help local authorities keep up their good work.â€?
Introduced in 1997, the annual Air Quality Grant Programme has allocated more than £50 million to support councils in monitoring and improving air quality.
The programme for 2013/14 focused on supporting projects set up to deal with high nitrogen dioxide levels normally associated with road transport.
Local authorities that receive grant funding will be required to provide a progress report by November 2014, with audit checks due to be carried out to monitor how appropriately the grants have been spent.
Earlier this month, Mr Rogerson answered questions in the House of Commons over what government was doing to reduce the number of deaths attributed to air pollution (see airqualitynew.com story).
Outlining plans to address the issue, he said the government had invested many billions of pounds in measures that will help to reduce air pollution from transport, energy and industrial sources.