Consultations launch on measures to help local authorities tackle air pollution

The government has today launched two consultations on proposals to make it easier for local authorities to tackle poor air quality in their areas.

cars parked on street near buildings during daytime

The first consultation seeks views on increased engagement between local authorities and the communities they serve and an increased focus on the impact of air quality on people’s health.

The consultation will also look at the stronger requirements introduced in the Environment Act 2021 for other organisations to collaborate with local authorities in delivering Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs).

Local authorities have a legal obligation to monitor, assess and act to improve local air quality if the objectives in their action plans are not met. The statutory Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) guidance being consulted on from today helps them improve the way they do this by outlining the various elements they should consider in these plans to ensure their overall air quality objectives are achieved.

The second consultation proposes to designate National Highways in order to ensure more consistent collaboration with local authorities to reduce road pollution.

If it is subsequently designated a relevant public authority, National Highways will have to commit to measures to help bring roads back into compliance wherever transport using a major highway has contributed to local air quality limits being exceeded. These measures will then be included in AQAPs.

Environment Minister Jo Churchill said: ‘Air quality is our priority, and these consultations will build on a swathe of other actions that we are already taking to help local authorities clean up our air.

‘We all want to see improved air quality in every part of our country, helping health outcomes and reducing health inequalities between and within communities. Coupled with recent funding announcements and our consultation on air quality targets under the Environment Act, we will drive forward long-lasting change to the air we breathe.’

Photo by Peter Albanese


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