Local authorities offered £2m to improve air quality

They can apply for projects including electric vehicle charging points, cycling infrastructure and developing local online air quality resources

Car exhaust smoke

Local authorities are being invited to bid for a share of at least £2 million of funding to improve air quality in their areas.

It is being provided as part of the Air Quality Grant scheme, which has awarded £61 million for projects benefitting schools, businesses and households, helping reduce the impact on people’s health by tackling air pollution.

Councils can apply for projects including electric vehicle (EV) charging points, improving cycling infrastructure and developing local online air quality resources.

According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the scheme has helped reduce emissions of harmful fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxides by 10% and 29% respectively between 2010 and 2017.

Levels of nitrogen dioxide at the roadside are also said to be at their lowest levels since records began.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “We know the impact air pollution has on public health, which is why we are continuing to provide funding to local authorities to help them to take action to improve air quality for the benefit of schools, businesses and residents. This is part of the much wider strategy to tackle air quality.

“Local authorities are in the best position to address the issues they face around their roads, and we are looking forward to receiving ideas for innovative schemes to reduce emissions and encourage cleaner, more active transport.”

Applications are open until 7th November 2019.

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