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Joint Air Quality Unit signs Informed Solutions for managed service

17/09/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) has appointed Informed Solutions as the technical delivery and support partner for the national roll out of clean air zones (CAZs).

Car exhaust

The company has won a four-year, £15 million contract to provide a managed service and deliver service improvements through WebOps and DevOps as new clean air zones are launched.

This follows its delivery of the CAZ vehicle emissions checker and the CAZ charging service to support the schemes.

JAQU is a joint unit of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Transport (DfT), charged with delivering the Government’s commitments to improve air quality by reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. 

One of its priorities is to work in collaboration with local authorities to influence changes in motorist behaviour. The Clean Air Zone Framework permits councils to set up CAZs with charging for non-compliant vehicles.

The Central CAZ Service is a national digital infrastructure for the schemes, hosted on Amazon Web Services, which involves a serverless execution model that is said to maximise the ability to scale elastically as more local authorities implement CAZs.

Immediate challenge

Suzanne Trueman, deputy director of JAQU at DfT, said: “As set out in Defra’s 2019 Clean Air Strategy, transport is a significant source of emissions of air pollution. Our immediate air quality challenge is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides in the areas where concentrations of these harmful gases currently exceed legal limits.  

“Informed Solutions has demonstrated its expertise for national scale digital service delivery through the first critical stages of CAZ design and implementation. We are delighted to be working with them as our technical delivery and support partner to maintain, continually improve, and roll out the CAZ service across England.

“It’s a critically important solution that is set to play an increasingly effective role in improving the quality of the air we breathe.”

Informed Solutions said that 61 local authorities are already involved in the programme, with CAZs having been launched in Bath and Birmingham in 2021 with an anticipated further seven to do so over the next two years.

Recent indications of plans to set up schemes have come from Newcastle City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

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