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Bristol wins Defra funding to develop Clean Air Zone

22 February 2017

Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council have been awarded government funding of nearly £500,000 to carry out a feasibility study into implementing a Clean Air Zone. 

The feasibility study, due to be completed in early 2018, will link into the ClairCity project, a four-year European Union funded research initiative involving six cities around Europe, including Bristol. 

The councils will assess how much pollution needs to be cut by, the size and location of the Clean Air Zone, timescales for developing it, how charging arrangements could be introduced, and if so, which vehicles should be included.

The study will inform the Bristol Mayor’s planned Congestion Task Group and current Air Quality Working Group, and will also be part of the city’s longer term Air Quality Action Plan. 

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “We have submitted a strong response to the government’s recent consultation on Clean Air Zones challenging it to come forward with national measures to reduce air pollution and funding for local authorities to act locally. 

“We want and expect the government’s continued support in enabling Bristol to have the Clean Air Zone, which it clearly needs.

“Air pollution is a serious problem in Bristol and it is unacceptable that lives are at risk because of harmful traffic emissions. This isn’t an attack on motorists though – it’s about our wider need to develop a transport system that works best for everyone. We hope this funding will help us develop effective and affordable ways to improve air quality, whilst taking into account wider transport measures and traffic congestion, and the impacts of future growth. To do this we will consult carefully with residents, transport providers and businesses on the best approach.”

The Bristol study is one of 18 air quality initiatives in England being funded by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in its Air Quality Grant programme for 2016/17 (see below).

The programme supports schemes set up to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels in areas in currently exceeding, or those which are expected to exceed, UK air pollution targets. 

Bristol and South Gloucestershire’s plans to improve air quality will be discussed at the Sustainable Transport & Health Summit taking place in Bristol on 23 and 24 February.

Air Quality Grant programme 2016/17

Birmingham City Council

Parking reform to reduce traffic in city centre combined with awareness raising £350,000

Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council

Clean Air Zone feasibility study £498,600

Cornwall County Council

Fitting council vehicles with oxy-hydrogen electrolysers £236,650

Derby City Council

Retro-fitting of Council’s HGV fleet with emissions reduction technology £250,000

Derby City Council

Cleaner taxis research and engagement programme £29,750

Doncaster Council (with Barnsley MBC, Rotherham MBC and Sheffield City Council)

Demonstration of electric vehicles with a local communication and engagement campaign to increase uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles £100,000

East Herts Council

EV charging and infrastructure improvements and EV car club £163,100

Gateshead Council

Traffic management measures, fleet upgrade and improved cycling infrastructure £395,957

Leeds City Council

Research  real-world emissions from road transport refrigeration equipment and possible mitigations £150,000

Leicester City Council

Work-based active travelling local campaign £67,300

London Borough of Islington

Local school focussed awareness and engagement campaign £50,000

Nottingham City Council

Trial of innovative fuel cell technology within the Council’s property portfolio £200,000

Nottingham City Council

Improve the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in NHS fleet £200,000

Sheffield City Council

Air Aware communications campaign (engaging local GPs, community groups and schools) £50,000

Southampton City Council (with Eastleigh Borough Council)

Supporting the uptake of low emission taxis £253,880

Southampton City Council

Eco-safe driver training and installation of telematics on council fleet £99,000

Southampton City Council (with Birmingham City Council, Derby City Council, Leeds City Council, Manchester City Council and Nottingham City Council)

Air quality awareness and engagement campaign £539,120

Westminster City Council (with London Borough of Camden)

Provide advice and toolkits for SMEs to reduce transport emissions from deliveries associated with their operations £54,077

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