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FAQ 129 – Cost Effectiveness of Measures within AQAPs

What level of detail in respect to cost effectiveness of measures is required in the Air Quality Action Plan?

Defra and the Devolved Administrations do not expect authorities to undertake detailed cost-benefit analyses in their Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs). It is expected that authorities will be able to demonstrate that they have considered all options that are open to them in pursuit of the air quality objectives and that these have been ranked according to their cost (in terms of both financial and other environmental impacts) and the improvements to air quality that each measure might bring.

A suggested means of describing this is by the use of a table as shown below. This provides a ranking based on three descriptors of ‘High’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Low’. These may be assigned using quantitative information if actual costs and air quality benefits have been determined, or by using best professional judgment. Where the proposed actions are part of ongoing or committed measures related to other policies, the authority may determine the costs as ‘zero’ unless additional funding related to the AQAP is required. The authority may choose to include the authority’s staff costs within their assessments if they wish, but it is more critical that a uniform approach is applied to the assessment.

Example: Impact and Cost of Measures
Proposed Measures Impact Cost
LEZ High High
Controlled Parking Zones Low Zero
City Car Clubs Low Zero
Walks to School Low Zero
Roadside Emissions Testing Medium High

A description of the cost bandings will also prove useful, e.g. ‘High’ is greater than £200K, ‘Medium’ is between £50K and £200K, and ‘Low’ is less than £50K.

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