Clean Air Fund: How are UK cities dealing with air pollution?


In October 2017 a report by the World Health Organisation claimed that the quality of air in 44 UK cities – including London, Leeds and Glasgow – made it a serious risk to our health. However in accordance with the Autumn Budget 2017, £220 million of grants will be allocated through the Clean Air Fund to local authorities.

The Clean Air Fund will allow councils to support people and businesses adapting to measures to improve air quality. This means that cities looking to implement air quality improvement measures can be better equipped to deal with air pollution.

The test for determining air quality is done by identifying the levels of certain pollutants and assessing these against national health based targets. In many instances in the UK exposure levels exceed the targets and in UK cities, levels are exceeding cover wide areas. Air pollution is linked to heart disease and is particularly a threat to the elderly, outdoor workers, children, pregnant women and people with asthma.

Whilst London Local Authorities are ineligible to apply for this funding, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has dedicated £20 million to the Mayoral Air Quality Fund (MAQF). This fund enables London boroughs to improve air quality through a series of projects. This is in an effort to get pollution levels down to WHO standards of safety by 2030. Air pollution in London will be dealt with by creating 12 low emission bus zones, phasing out diesel taxis, checking air quality around schools and creating alerts when air quality falls below a certain standard.

Since 2015, 28 boroughs in London also took advantage of electric vehicle fleets, the London Low Emission Construction Partnership, introducing low emission vehicles, a green courier service and various infrastructure projects to encourage more walking and cycling. Find out more about the projects here.

Local authorities outside of London who have applied for Clean Air Fund grants need to demonstrate that their proposed improvement measures, like those being implemented across London, are tailored to their areas to minimise the potential impact of dangerous air.

What’s next?

If you are dedicated towards improving air quality and have put together a solid plan for the Clean Air Fund, REC can provide advice and guidance so that you can implement your projects effectively.

We are a national environmental consultancy with a locally delivered, human approach. We can help you take the right steps in managing air quality. To discuss this with an expert, get in touch with us now on 0845 676 9309.

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