Defra funds low emissions zone studies

3rd January 2013

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  • Transport ,
  • Local government ,
  • Prevention & Control ,
  • Air



Local authorities in Exeter, Birmingham and Leicester will receive funding to investigate the benefits of charging polluting vehicles for entering city centres

The cities’ councils have each been awarded grants of between £60,000 and £150,000 from a £2 million pot of money Defra is allocating to 36 local authorities across England to improve air quality.

A total of £531,000 of the overall fund is earmarked for investigations into establishing low emissions zones (LEZs) similar to the one introduced in London in 2008.

Other grants were issued to authorities working to improve how they communicate air quality messages to communities, including £60,000 to both the London Borough of Islington and Newcastle City Council for awareness raising campaigns.

The funds have been allocated from Defra’s air quality grant scheme, which supports local authority initiatives to lower air pollution in England. The latest round of funding under the scheme focuses on tackling nitrogen dioxide pollution in major cities, which has resulted in the UK breaching EU air quality rules.

“Air quality has improved significantly in recent years; however, we need to keep striving to improve the air we breathe. This £2 million air quality grant will help local communities take matters into their own hands. Without this money, many innovative projects would never see the light of day”, said Lord de Mauley, parliamentary under-secretary at Defra.

“In previous years, similar grants have been used very creatively to address air pollution. This is exactly the type of action that should be encouraged and I’m looking forward to reviewing the success of the projects this time next year.”

The London LEZ imposes a daily charge of up to £200 on heavy diesel vehicles that exceed specified emissions standards for driving in the capital.

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