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Clean Air Plan Consultants

Clean air is essential for life, health, the environment and the economy. In the UK, air pollution poses the highest environmental risk to human health. By improving air quality through the creation of clean air action plans – such as Clean Air Zones, Low Emission Zones and other traffic management or infrastructure strategies – we can reduce people’s exposure to pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide caused primarily by road transport – the largest source of such pollutants in urban areas.

Our clean air planning expertise covers:

  • Transport modelling
  • Air quality modelling
  • Health Impact Assessments
  • Appraisals
  • Transport Planning
  • Financial modelling
  • Social distributional impacts
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Consultation
  • CAZ design and non-CAZ design (engineering)
  • ITS / Technology (including camera specifications etc)
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Clean Air Funding bids
  • Project / programme management
  • Surveys / data collection (stated preference / ANPRs etc)

We also support Air Quality Action Plans for local authorities. This is for councils which have an AQ issue but haven’t been identified as needing a Clean Air Plan. Our services include:

  • Detailed Air Quality dispersion modelling
  • Source apportionment analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Steering group facilitation
  • Preparation of Air Quality Action Plans
  • Consultation event support

We’re proud to have unrivalled collective experience working with local authorities as well as with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/Department for Transport’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) on both types of Clean Air Zones.

Clean air zones

Creating a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is one of the most effective measures used to manage and reduce pollution. A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is an area in which a local authority puts measures in place to improve the air quality. The creation of Clean Air Zones in urban areas across the UK is part of the government’s broader Air Quality Plan, which aims to improve air quality and address the most damaging sources of pollution.

Types of Clean Air Zone

There are two types of Clean Air Zones: Non-charging and Charging.

In a non-charging Clean Air Zone, the focus is on improving air quality, without charging money for vehicles entering the zone. Measures can include retrofitting certain vehicles, traffic flow management, travel behaviour change and active travel improvements. In a charging zone, drivers will be charged a fee to enter the area if their vehicle fails to meet the required environmental standards.

Data driven CAZ design

At Sweco, we help to identify the best solution for a particular area in terms of the environment and economy, whilst achieving the requirements set by JAQU in the shortest possible time. We do this by drawing upon the expertise of our transport planning and environmental teams who gather data from multiple sources including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and through surveys and questionnaires to better understand how the creation of a Clean Air Zone could affect local businesses and the general public.

This data is then used to update the transport and air quality models to forecast future traffic and air quality levels. The ANPR data also helps to identify the vehicle fleet mix in an urban area in order to determine which vehicles will be compliant and therefore not subject to a charge. The data collection and modelling work allows us to determine current and future air quality exceedances on the networks and produce the business case to fund these measures. Throughout the process, we engage with the various stakeholders to better understand the key issues and to refine the potential measures to address them.

Together with our clients and the collective knowledge of our engineers, consultants and other specialists, we co-create solutions to address urbanisation, capture the power of digitalisation, and make our societies more sustainable.​ With international multi-disciplinary teams, we can call on the right insight and technical capability at the right time from across Buildings, Infrastructure, Advisory & Planning and Compliance.​