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West Midlands - Low Emission Towns and Cities

November 2012

The West Midlands Partnership

The Low Emission Towns and Cities Partnership is made up of the seven West Midlands local authorities: Birmingham City Council, Coventry City Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, Wolverhampton City Council.

The group works together to improve air quality and reduce emissions from road transport. The intention is to do this by promoting the uptake of low emission fuels and technologies, establishing and sharing best practice policies, and developing various tools and resources. The objectives of the programme are to investigate and produce regional strategies designed to improve air quality with a view to meeting national air quality objectives, thereby promoting compliance with EU emission limits and in addition reducing carbon emissions.

Work Programme

Over the past three years the Partnership has secured funding from Defra’s Air Quality Grant scheme in order to develop:

  1. A Low Emissions Strategy and Best Practice Guidance on Public Sector Procurement and Planning for the West Midlands.
  2. A Low Emissions Zone (LEZs) Technical Feasibility Study, investigating a number of intervention scenarios for four study zones. The project also aims to develop a transferable “toolkit” for local authorities looking to designate LEZs. The four study zones are: Birmingham city centre within the inner and outer ring roads, The M6 corridor between the junctions for the M6 Toll road, Bearwood Road and A456 / A458 from Dudley to Birmingham.

Each work strand is led by a different member of the group Walsall (Low Emissions Strategy), Coventry (Procurement), Dudley (Planning), Birmingham (Low Emissions Zones). A further tranche of funding has been secure to extend the work, this is subject to final plan approval.

Next Steps

Draft Low Emissions Strategy and Best Practice Guidance for both Planning and Procurement are to be launched for consultation at an event to be held at the Council House, Birmingham on the 27th November 2012. Following an 8 week consultation period between December 2012 – January 2013, it is envisaged that that documents will be finalise in late Spring 2013. Work on the LEZs Technical Feasibility Study will be completed by Summer 2013 and the findings will be reported and disseminated to Stakeholders in Autumn 2013.

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