A ‘try before you buy’ e-bike hire scheme, an e-cargo bike hire scheme and an electric vehicle car club are on the way, as part of a clean air project.

Uttlesford District Council has secured the cash from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), to help them develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses, and communities and reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.

The £517,124 Air Quality Grant will also support education engagement programmes that aim to raise awareness of pollution and encourage changes, and cover the costs of increased monitoring.

The schemes will initially be piloted in Saffron Walden and will get underway later this year.

The district council this week has had a pop-up stall in Great Dunmow and Saffron Walden, raising awareness of the environment in support of Clean Air Day 2022 (June 16).

As part of the campaign, the council's Environmental Health Team posted ‘No idling’ signs to remind motorists about the importance of switching off their engines when queuing at traffic lights. Clean Air Day resources have been shared with schools.

Dunmow Broadcast: Councillor Louise Pepper, who is responsible for the environment and green issuesCouncillor Louise Pepper, who is responsible for the environment and green issues (Image: Uttlesford District Council)

Cllr Louise Pepper, portfolio holder for the Environment and Green Issues, said: “Reducing transport emissions is key to cleaning up the air we breathe.

"We can do this by removing some of the barriers to sustainable travel and making them more appealing and accessible for more people. Improvements have been made but there is always more we can do.

“This funding will allow us to develop some exciting new initiatives to boost the use of green transport, and also put in place programmes to make people aware that there are small things we can all do to make a big impact on the quality of air in our communities.”

Transport emissions are a major focus of the council’s climate change strategy and action plan.

This includes looking at ways to improve active travel, such as cycling and walking, raising awareness of air pollution, and increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points across the district.


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