Funds to tackle air pollution
Dudley Council has recently been awarded over £1.5m to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide emissions.
The £1.5m funds, a grant from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for Transport (DfT), will look to reduce vehicle emissions and specifically address two key locations in the borough - the A461 Castle Gate Island and A491 High Street, Wordsley.
A range of options has been considered to reduce air pollution, with a key focus on how to improve traffic flow and clean up emissions from bus`s, significant sources of nitrogen dioxide emissions.
The funds will be used to provide new traffic signalling technology which will determine the best traffic signal sequence, provide upgraded “intelligent” pedestrian crossings and will also consider other ways to improve traffic flow such as bus stop placement as well as the introduction of more clean energy buses onto busy routes.
The council is also working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to further improve public transport in the borough to reduce reliance on cars.
It has already reduced emissions from the council’s fleet of vehicles and is working with Transport West Midlands on the roll out of hybrid buses across the region which will reduce polluting emissions by 30% in comparison with conventional diesel fuelled vehicles. The delivery of the Metro extension to Brierley Hill has the potential to reduce car use in the borough even further.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare cabinet member for cabinet member for environment, highways and street services said:
Improving air quality is a real focus for us and this additional funding will allow us to look at a range of ways in which we can reduce air pollution around the borough and at key locations.
Together with our neighbouring authorities, Transport for West Midlands, the West Midland Combined Authority and Public Health England, we are working hard to find ways to tackle air pollution."
“We would ask everyone to play their part and consider travelling on foot, by bike or public transport for shorter distances, reducing the amount of traffic on our roads thereby reducing pollution emissions.”
The council has also purchased three mobile air quality sensors to monitor air quality around sensitive locations, such as schools. Air quality officers and Public Health officers will use air quality monitoring data to work with schools, children and parents to develop and implement school specific air quality improvement plans. This work has been designed to compliment the excellent work that the Council`s road safety team undertake with schools to support initiatives such as walk to school week, walking buses and bikeability training to encourage safe cycling to and from school.
A recent planning document also requires certain new developments to install electric car charging points as part of their build, increasing the opportunity for people to use and charge electric or hybrid vehicles in the borough.