Clean Air Fund
Objective of the Clean Air Fund
1. The Clean Air Fund’s objective is to support individuals and businesses affected by local nitrogen dioxide plans. Government has encouraged local authorities to prioritise approaches that achieve compliance with legal limits in the shortest possible time whilst minimising the impact on those living and working in and around the area. However, it is likely that in some cases local authorities will identify measures that could impact individuals and businesses – such as charging clean air zones – as the fastest means of achieving compliance. Depending on the scope of vehicles covered by such a zone this could particularly impact on low income families, small businesses and people living or working in a particular area. The objective of the Clean Air Fund is to help local authorities to support those impacted by their specific local plan. The objective can be delivered in three main ways:
a) By introducing measures that will make it easier, more attractive or more affordable for individuals and businesses to change to cleaner modes of transport that will not face any restrictions under local plans. For instance, if a local authority has concluded that reaching compliance will require it to restrict vehicle access to the city centre for three days each week, the Clean Air Fund could support measures that would make it easier to change to alternative modes of transport such as improving the cycling and walking infrastructure, boosting local bus services or supporting park and ride facilities. This would give individuals better options on days their cars are not a viable transport mode. b) By enabling the local authority to implement local plans that collectively impact on fewer people. For example if a local authority identified the following two approaches that achieve compliance equally as quickly: a) implementing a class C1 charging Clean Air Zone; or
b) implementing a class B2 charging Clean Air Zone3 and additional measures (for instance a freight consolidation centre). Option b) would impact less people as vans would no longer be in scope for charging but has an additional cost to fund the additional measures - the Clean Air Fund could potentially support these additional measures.
c) By reducing transport costs for people; for instance if a local authority identified that the measure that would bring forward compliance in the shortest time was a class D charging Clean Air Zone (which applies to all vehicle types), the Clean Air Fund could support local travel discounts for low income households in the area to help provide them with alternative transport options in the zone.
2. Evidencing the need for Clean Air Fund intervention will be part of local authorities developing their local plans, which will include an assessment of the distributional impacts i.e. how the proposed measures to reduce nitrogen dioxide pollution will impact different groups of individuals and businesses. A strong application from a local authority for the Clean Air Fund will both robustly evidence the need for funding by clearly setting out the impacts of the local plan on individuals and businesses, and establish how the proposals for the Clean Air Fund minimise these impacts.
There is £220 million of funding available through the Clean Air Fund over the period of 2018/19 to 2020/21. It is our intention that successful local authorities will receive the funding award from the Clean Air Fund at the same time as they are awarded funding from the Implementation Fund. The funding may be paid out in tranches over several financial years.See more