Funding boost to improve air quality in West Sussex

Funding to support cleaner buses, taxis and improve air quality across West Sussex has been welcomed.

Sussex-Air, a partnership of local authorities across Sussex, has been awarded £876,300 from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) for local projects.

The first includes upgrading the exhausts of around 40 double-decker buses serving Brighton & Hove and parts of East and West Sussex to reduce the emissions they produce.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The second project aims to raise public awareness of the impact of air pollution and alongside an upgraded monitoring network, Sussex-air partners will relay the science and health impacts of poor air quality to local communities across the county. The Sussex network of air quality analysers will be supplemented with additional particulate (PM) monitors and a network of sensors.

Air quality monitoring station

The funding will also cover work with taxi operators in West Sussex to facilitate a transition to electric vehicles.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for environment and climate change said: “We are pleased to see this extra funding for projects to improve air quality which will also benefit West Sussex.”

“The issue of air quality cannot be tackled by councils alone, so it is important to be working in partnership, including with bus and taxi operators, to address this issue by lowering transport emissions and raising awareness.”

A proportion of the most frequently used buses are “mid-life” and were not designed and built to the most recent emissions standards. The retrofit will allow them to continue to operate with lower emissions.