Half a million pounds boost to improve air quality

Blaby District Council has received more than half a million pounds to help reduce harmful vehicle emissions under the banner of Let’s Go Electric.

The money, £573,701, has come through the government’s annual Air Quality Grant and will be spent on an electric conversion kit for a diesel bin lorry and the purchase of Blaby’s first electric road sweeper.

These will be used specifically in the five Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in the District, Enderby, Narborough, Whetstone and the M1 corridor in Leicester Forest East and Thorpe Astley.

All these areas feature major traffic routes and dense populations and while air pollutant levels do not exceed national guidelines they remain higher than the World Health Organisation advises.

The main emission concerns surround fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides and the Air Quality Grants seek to support Councils in their efforts to tackle these, as well as other emissions, creating a healthier environment for everyone.

In total the government has handed out £10.7 million to 44 local authorities across England for projects that will improve air quality and cut air pollution.

The Council already uses HVO – hydro treated vegetable oil – as a fuel source in the bulk of its bin lorries, a move which has slashed emissions. The Let’s Go Electric project is aimed at reducing levels even further.