Local authorities across England have been granted more than £5m in government funding to improve local air quality.
The money, which is from the government’s Air Quality Grant, will help councils to develop and implement measures that will benefit schools, businesses and communities while also reducing the overall impact of air pollution on peoples health.
The application process focused on projects that involve reducing particulate matter (PM2.5), which is known to be the most harmful pollutant to human health.
Proposals that have won funding include:
- Plans to partner with GPs to train them as Air Quality champions in order to raise awareness of the health impacts of air pollution in their surgeries.
- Promoting anti-idling and organising school street closures at pick-up and drop off times.
- Encouraging the uptake of electric taxis
- Enhancing educational programmes for schoolchildren.
The government has said that they hope that these local projects will complement the UK’s wider plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations
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 added: ‘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.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay