Councils to push EV sal sac and cleaner commuting with new grants
Local authorities are to use latest Air Quality Grants to fund new initiatives, including a pilot of employer salary sacrifice to promote electric vehicle take-up.
Over £5m has been awarded under the latest wave of air quality funding; more than double the level of grants announced in 2020 and supporting a “raft of particularly strong applications”, according to the Government.
Work includes a pilot of employer salary sacrifice by Buckinghamshire Council; which has been awarded just under £100k. Meanwhile, Colchester Borough Council is to get just under £250k to trial a pay-as-you-go electric cargo bike club, while also working with the community to encourage behaviour change to improve air quality.
Westminster City Council has been awarded £700k for its work on sustainable freight solutions such as e-cargo bikes under the Cross River Partnership.
And Wokingham Borough Council is to get £125k for the development of an app to help local commuters make sustainable travel choices.
Other projects include schemes to encourage the uptake of electric taxis and to promote anti-idling and organise school street closures at pick-up and drop off time.
The latest phase of funding means almost £70m has been awarded through the Air Quality Grant since it was launched in 1997 and the projects are said to have helped with a significant improvement in air quality in the UK in recent decades.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “We know local authorities are in the best position to address the issues they face in their areas. These projects demonstrate how they can deliver innovative solutions for their communities and we will continue to work with them closely to offer ongoing support.”