Birmingham unveils Clean Air Strategy in push for greener city

Proposals include improving air quality monitoring at schools, encouraging active travel, and further development of the Transport Plan. 

The UK’s second largest metropolis has published its approach to reducing emissions and pollutants in the atmosphere, while increasing the public’s understanding of types, sources, and dangers of toxic air. 

Launched on 27th January 2022, the Clean Air Strategy has identified five priorities. These include improving ‘the fleet’ of public and private vehicles currently on the city’s roads, essentially removing the most polluting models. Traffic flow should also be addressed to make journeys smoother and faster, with significant attention paid to cars and other vehicles sitting idly in congestion, with a reduction in overall volume also a key goal. 

concrete building and houses under gray sky

Finally, sources of air pollution should be reduced where possible, along with human exposure to those emissions. Meanwhile, behavioural changes aimed at improving air quality should be emphasised within business culture and among individuals, empowering people and organisations to become part of the solution, rather than the problem. 

As part of this, an upgraded air quality monitoring network will be necessary, with a new Air Pollution sensors project launched with tracking specialist Airly. Further to this, employers should be supported in encouraging staff to use active travel modes like cycling for commutes, forming part of the wider Birmingham Transport Plan. Meanwhile, participation in initiatives such as Birmingham University’s West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme also features in the pledges. 

‘There is clear evidence that air pollution can have long and short-term health implications. Our ambition is to create an environment where people can live and work to their full potential without the threat of this entirely preventable pollution,’ said Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council. 

‘This strategy outlines our commitment to work towards this goal. The launch of the Clean Air Zone was just the beginning of our journey to a greener future for the city and our communities,’ he continued. ‘It is a promising next step for us today to be able to launch the Air Pollution Sensors project with Airly as this will help us create further awareness across our communities of how the air pollution situation is progressing.’

Last year, Birmingham introduced a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), applying to all vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 (diesel) and Euro 4 (petrol) minimum emissions standards.  


Image credit: Luke Matthews





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2 years ago

Very good but what does Airly measure exactly? Only road traffic exhaust? How does it, or the council, propose to reign in the air polluiton if the levels showing up on the monitors are too high?

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