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February 2020  Headlines       Issue 166

Wealden spat rumbles on

Wealden Council has been criticised for failing to cooperate with nearby councils and being over cautious with attempts to prevent air pollution from damaging the sensitive Ashdown Forest.

Agriculture Bill includes air quality

The Agriculture Bill was included in the Queen’s Speech and includes a commitment to link air quality with farmers’ payments – however there is no detail.

Eco stoves ‘solution’

Ecostoves and woodburning are being touted as a ‘solution’ to the PM2.5 problem.

Natural capital calculator for AQ

Air quality is a key part of a new online ‘natural capital’ calculator

Tory sentiment

Bright Blue, a think tank for liberal conservatism, and Opinium, have published analysis of polling providing a snapshot of the immediate public expectations of the new Conservative Government.

ACCON acquired

Air quality and noise consultant ACCON UK ended 2019 becoming become a partner company of the Austrian company iC Group.

Idling prompts drivethru refusal

Idling and extra traffic have contributed for the repeated refusal to allow a Starbucks at a busy junction in Harrogate. Councillors on the planning committee defied advice that the development would not harm air quality.

Sandwell rejects concrete sleeper plant

Sandwell Council has rejected proposals for a concrete sleeper facility at Bescot with the developer accused of providing insufficient information on air quality.

DMRB savings

New wording of DMRB is purported to cut £25–50m in red tape costs.

Charge boost

Government funding will be doubled to £10m for the installation of chargepoints on residential streets next year. This could fund up to another 3,600 chargepoints across the country and make charging at home and overnight easier for those without an off-street parking space.

200 London schools audit plan

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that current plans to tackle air pollution at 50 London schools will be expanded to 200.

Clean Air Bill

The Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill has had its first reading in the House of Lords.

Epping saga rumbles on

Idom Merebrook Ltd (IDOM) has been appointed by the City of London to work on a project assessing the air quality of Epping Forest..

Unitaries lag on air action

Unitaries are much less likely than Metropolitan councils and London boroughs to consider taking action on air quality as ‘extremely or very important’, the latest quarterly New Local Government Network leadership index survey has found

Cities progress LEZs and ZEZs

Oxford’s ZEZ

Oxford’s is consulting on modest zero emission zone plans for its city centre.
The City and County councils have published final draft proposals for what it believes is the UK’s first city centre ‘red’ Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ), to be introduced later this year.

Bath

Bath is to introduce a £9 daily fee for high-emission vans and £100 for HGVs and buses – private cars will be excluded.

York bus zone

Ahead of the launch of a clean air zone in York city centre later this month, City of York Council has awarded more than £1.6 million in funding to five bus companies to help them to make their vehicles more environmentally-friendly.

Birmingham ban

Birmingham has released a draft plan that will see road closures and parking restrictions to cut private car use.

No charge Cardiff

Cardiff will not be charging dirty vehicles to enter its city centre.

Newcastle not cars

Cars will not be charged under clean air plans in the North East of England.

NOx – the continued UK fall

Analysis from Air Quality Consultants suggests there is yet more evidence that modern engines have finally reduced roadside NOx.

Welsh joined up thinking

An intriguing study commissioned by Welsh Government looks at how air quality and noise can be better joined up

Williamson to AQC

Former National Society for Clean Air campaigner and ex Defra air quality man Tim Williamson is to join Air Quality Consultants in its London Office.

mapping of air and noise together?

There are several areas where greater levels of coordination can lead to improved consideration of air quality and noise/soundscape.

Heathrow ultrafines in London

London has a high proportion of ultrafine particles, many airport related underlining increasing fears that aviation ultrafines are underestimated.