The Welsh Government has announced £21 million of funding for Cardiff Council to implement measures to improve air quality across the city.
It follows approval of the council’s revised clean air proposals after it was instructed to undertake a feasibility study to identify measures to address illegal nitrogen dioxide exceedances “in the shortest possible time”.
The council proposed a package of measures including a bus retrofitting programme to reduce emissions, taxi mitigation measures, city centre transport improvements and an active travel plan to make it easier for people to walk and cycle in the city centre.
It was asked to provide further evidence to justify why a charging Clean Air Zone was not a suitable option and after full consideration and advice from the Independent Review Panel, appointed by the Welsh Government, Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths accepted the final plan.
The minister said she is content Cardiff’s preferred option on non-charging measures is likely to achieve the legal requirement and deliver sustained reduction in emissions.
Ms Griffiths added: “Improving air quality across Wales is a Welsh Government priority. I am grateful to Cardiff Council for all of the work they have undertaken during this process and their clear commitment and dedication to delivering a solution to support air quality benefits for the city.”
Cardiff County Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: “This is very welcome news indeed and will enable us to get to work improving air quality in the city centre, especially around Castle Street, which surveys show was most likely to breach EU pollution limits by 2021.
“Everyone living, working and visiting Cardiff has the right to breathe in clean air and this grant will allow us to put in place measures which will reduce pollution.”