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Feb 2019 Headlines       Issue 153

Bristol: alarmed, astonished...

Bristol – formerly a leading player on air pollution – has been sanctioned by environment minister Thérèse Coffey for slow progress on progressing its clean air zone to comply with the NO2 plan.

Air pollution damage costs rise substantially

Official air quality “damage costs” appear to have risen nearly tenfold.

‘World’s largest’ monitoring network

The London Mayor has launched what he claims is the ‘world’s largest air quality monitoring network”.

Dustscan self owned

Dustscan has become an employee owned business!  All company shares are now owned by an Employee Ownership Trust (DustScan Trustees Ltd) and all staff now have a say in the direction of the business.

Uber clean fee

Uber riders in London must now pay a 15p per mile ‘clean air’ surcharge. The money is intended to help drivers afford new ultra clean electric vehicles.

Office audits air metric revamp

The National Audit Office has scrutinised Defra plans to revamp environmental metrics post-Brexit.

Inquest into girl’s death may be reopened

An inquest is likely to be re-run in a bid to blame air pollution for the death of a young girl in 2013.

Plume leads to Ombudsman rap

Halton Borough Council has been criticised by the Local Authority Ombudsman for failing to properly investigate complaints of steam from an incinerator.

North east councils reject CAZ charging

Charging has been roundly rejected by Tyneside councils. They say that no options would reduce air pollution below limits and despite the reporting deadline having passed, have told Defra that further analysis is needed.

Oxford zero emission zone diluted

The much feted Oxford zero emission zone has been watered down

Southampton no

The rejection of a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Southampton is a “boost to the port as well as local businesses”, according to the Freight Transport Association.

Inequality will reduce in London

A detailed analysis suggests that planned air quality improvements in London will benefit the poorest. All primary and secondary schools exceeding NO2 limits will drop from 453 in 2013 to zero by 2025.

Wireless EV charging to be tested

UK Power Networks Services will work with UPS, High Speed 1 and WMG on an innovative new project to assess the feasibility of using wireless charging to support the use of electric vehicles in commercial fleets on London’s roads.

York chooses zone

York is set to invest £1.6million in a ‘voluntary’ clean air zone (CAZ) in the city aimed at improving exhaust emissions from local bus services.

LEZ explainer

A comprehensive, cartographic overview of diesel bans and low-emission zones across 350 cities in eight countries has been released.

Tube dust probe inconclusive

Comeap has drawn a blank with its bid to assess the health risks of tube dust compared to ambient particles.

Leeds go ahead

Leeds City Council has been given final approval and more than £29 million in funding from the government to implement a clean air charging zone in the city and support businesses affected.

Scotland settles for LEZs

Scotland has finalised its National Low Emission Framework – eschewing Defra’s clean air zone definitions

Scottish two-tier models

The Scottish National Modelling Framework (NMF) is a key strand of the Clean Air For Scotland strategy which will develop a national, two-tiered modelling approach for air quality within Scotland. The NMF aims to standardise data collection requirements, analysis processes and presentation of outputs to provide local authorities with information required to appraise measures for improving urban air quality.

New air quality strategy: unchanged forward plans

England has released its final strategy – a bit of a damp squib as much of it is unchanged, give or take a burst of enthusiasm on LAQM. Meanwhile Scotland does not like Defra’s idea of clean air zones (see facing page)

LAQM: first look at proposed new form

A four-line glancing mention of LAQM in the draft strategy has become three whole pages in the final strategy. Effectively the Government did not consult on LAQM but it has now made recommendations on LAQM that may lead to important changes.

Responses suggest some disapproval

As is customary Defra has released its summary of responses to the consultation which ran from 22 May to the 14 August 2018.

Breathe London launched

Air Monitors designed and installed the network of AQMesh pods, as well as the analysers in the Google Street View cars.