The Government has approved Nottingham City Council’s new plan to tackle air pollution in Nottingham city centre, which doesn't include the introduction of a Clean Air Zone.
Instead, the focus will be on retrofitting buses with emission-reducing technology, targeting taxis, and converting the council's own fleet to electric.
The city was one of five ordered to implement a Clean Air Zone to reduce air pollution. However, modelling showed that it would be possible to meet targets through other measures.
Nottingham is the first local authority to have their air quality plan approved as part of the government’s wider £3.5bn plan to tackle harmful emissions from road transport across the country.
Nottingham’s plan will see the council improving air quality by retrofitting 171 buses with technology to reduce emissions, funded through the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund.
It will change the age and emissions policy for hackney carriages and support an increase in low emission taxis. £1m from government will be used to provide a licensing discount for drivers, a taxi rank with charging points, fund home chargers and expand the council’s ‘try before you buy’ scheme, which started this week.
In addition, Nottingham City Council has received funding from the Government to support the conversion of its own fleet, including replacing heavy, high polluting vehicles such as bin lorries with electric vehicles.
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: "We worked hard on a plan that would reduce air pollution in the shortest possible time for our citizens, and we’re thrilled this has now been agreed, along with nearly £1m funding for extra measures to support taxi drivers.
"We’re looking forward to progressing these schemes to clean up the city’s buses and taxis, building on our strong track record in improving air quality through investment in sustainable transport, such as the electric tram, our award-winning electric and biogas bus fleets and cycle network.
"Air pollution is a significant threat to public health today, and road transport emissions are a big part of that. We’re confident we can deliver our plan and go even further to improve the quality of the air in our city."