To do this, I shortlisted five cities that were around the same size; Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, and created four categories (relating to the main sources of air pollution) for them to be scored against; transport, public health, planning and development, and energy production and use. I added context to those cities which includes looking at the geographical setting, the date at which policy was written, what expertise was used to develop local policy and how much funding was put behind it. Each category was assessed and scored to a maximum of three points where a city’s policies may be effective (or not), in what area, and their respective reported progress towards improved local air quality.
By using this Bridging Framework, Local Authorities can assess their policies and use it as a guide for what they need to focus on to improve their policy and implement it. For example, it may highlight issues around their cycle network and a lack of parking bays near the train or bus station which, if installed, could enable a smooth transition within the public transport system. Equally, it could highlight that they are performing well on, for example, their hydrogen bus roll-out. It’s subjective to the city.
The good news is that, during my research, I found that considerable efforts are being made to improve air quality on a local level. The most successful policies are from those who collaborate with a variety of Local Authorities and departments (e.g. transport), giving them access to more resources and funding, which can make a substantial difference for the future effectiveness of our air quality policy in the UK.
You can read about the Bridging Framework here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09640568.2021.1888698