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Government publish plans to help local authorities improve air quality
Government publish plans to help local authorities improve air quality

Government publish plans to help local authorities improve air quality

The government has published its plans that will help to improve air quality.

Following a consultation which directed 33 local authorities who reported shorter-term nitrogen dioxide (NO2) problems to undertake studies to establish measures that will reduce nitrogen dioxide air pollution, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has now set out further action to improve air quality in this latest supplement.

The new measures will be taken forward by 10 local authorities in order to reduce pollution levels – funded by the central government.

Although NO2 levels have fallen by 27% since 2010, those councils with the worst levels of air pollution have been directed regarding how to take actin.

After issuing directives to 33 local authorities about how they can comply with roadside NO2 limits, the government’s supplement sets out the work carried out by these authorities.

Further action will be taken by 10 local authorities of Dudley, Leicester, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Portsmouth, Reading, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Solihull, Basingstoke and Deane, and South Gloucestershire; all will now move forward with the new measures to tackle the problem of pollution and ultimately improve air quality.

Measures that have emanated from the study include retrofitting approximately 400 buses with the technology to reduce emissions; traffic management measures including adjustments to signalling to reduce congestion; and behavioural change campaigns to encourage individuals to take action and reduce their contribution to air pollution.

The government say they will now put sufficient funding in place to support activities enclosed in this supplement.

Therese Coffey, Environment Minister, commented: “While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, we know urgent action is still required to tackle roadside air pollution in our towns and cities.

“This is why through our £3.5 billion national air quality plan, we are working with local authorities across the UK and I am pleased 10 local authorities will now implement new measures to drive down pollution.”

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