Portsmouth City Council welcomes grant to address air quality

MS 2015 06 25 18 (ZF 8245 55459 1 001) 0

Portsmouth City Council has received just under half a million pounds from the government to support its work in improving air quality in the city.

The council has been awarded £450,000 from the government's £260million Clean Air Fund to deliver a series of sustainable travel initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns to improve air quality across the city, and in particular in the city's five remaining Air Quality Management Areas. 

The council has also received £50,000 from Defra to conduct a Targeted Feasibility Study to investigate schemes to bring forward improvements in air quality and achieve compliance with national targets in two specific areas: Mile End Road and Alfred Road.

Pam Turton, Portsmouth City Council's Assistant Director for Transport said. "It is our aspiration that everyone in Portsmouth is able to enjoy a clean and safe environment, where air quality is not harmful to health. This funding will make a huge difference to what we are able to deliver and achieve, bringing forward compliance with air quality targets."

Defra’s air quality grant scheme provides funding to eligible local authorities to help improve air quality. The scheme helps local authorities to make air quality improvements and to meet their statutory duties under the Environment Act 1995. It has awarded over £55 million in funding to a variety of projects since it started in 1997.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said. “We have been clear that local leaders are best placed to develop innovative plans that rapidly meet the needs of their communities. [This] funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to support the local momentum needed and continue to improve our air now and for future generations.

Improving air quality is about more than just tackling emissions from transport, so later this year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy. This will set out how we will address all forms of air pollution, delivering cleaner air for the whole country.”

The first round of activity will focus on national Clean Air Day on Thursday 21 June when the council is planning a series of awareness-raising events across the city. Cycle training schemes, workplace journey planning and improvements to key travel routes in the city are also in the pipeline to promote and encourage more sustainable travel options. Watch this space!