Dudley’s air quality has improved dramatically since the 1950s when ‘clean air’ legislation was introduced to prevent air pollution episodes created by heavy industry and from the burning of coal. However, air pollution is still an issue today and poor air quality can affect health and everyday quality of life.
Nowadays the main sources of pollution in Dudley are emissions from road transport (including lorries, buses and cars). Petrol and diesel motor vehicles emit a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulates (PM10), which have an increasing impact on urban air quality. High levels of pollution tend to be associated with busy main roads and junctions.
Under the Clean Air Act 1993, it is an offence to cause or permit emissions of 'dark smoke' from industrial or trade premises (includes building & demolition). Burning can be deemed to have taken place (without witnessing a bonfire) if the materials that have been burnt on the premises are likely to give rise to dark smoke, e.g. cable, paint, etc. Cable burning is also a specific offence unless authorised.
The Clean Air Act 1993 also enables local authorities to declare any part of their district as a Smoke Control Area.
New Funding to Encourage Plug-In Car Use (UK)
The plug-in car grant scheme began in 2011, it has been revised several times since. In the budget announcement of March 2020 zero-emission cars (fully electric cars, not including hybrid vehicles) priced below £50,000 will be eligible to receive a grant of up to £3,000. Small vans could receive a grant of up to £8,000, large vans and trucks up to £20,000, taxis up to £7,500 and motorbikes up to £1,500. The rates of the plug-in vehicle grants are subject to change overtime depending on how the markets develop.
Review and Assessment
Since 1997 local authorities in the UK have been carrying out Air Quality Review And Assessment of air quality in their area. The aim of the review is to make sure that the national air quality objectives will be achieved. If a local authority finds any locations where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).