Climate Emergency

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The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.


The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.


  • Cheshire West and Chester Council welcomes huge investment in the region

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    17 March 2021

    The Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council has today (Wednesday, 17 March) welcomed news of a £72m decarbonisation funding boost to create thousands of new jobs and place the borough at the centre of the country’s green industrial revolution.

    The HyNet North West hydrogen and carbon capture storage project has secured funding from the government and from the project's consortium, to help transform the North West region into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster.

    The funding will also support Cheshire West and Chester’s aim to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

    West Cheshire forms a central element of the North West Industrial Cluster, which contains the largest concentration of advanced manufacturing and chemical production in the UK.

    Under the plans, HyNet North West will begin to transform natural gas into low carbon hydrogen at the Essar Stanlow by 2025. This clean energy source will be piped across the region to power industry, provide fuel for public transport and commercial vehicles, generate electricity and heat homes.

    The project is a collaboration between locally-based partners Progressive Energy, Cadent, CF Fertilisers, Eni UK, Essar, Hanson, INOVYN (part of the INEOS Group) and the University of Chester.

    By 2030 HyNet North West will have cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10 million tonnes a year. The project should create more than 6,000 new jobs and protect many existing manufacturing jobs in the region. In total, HyNet North West will help to support 75,000 jobs across the country by 2035.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council has shown a strong commitment to protecting the environment. In 2019 the council declared a Climate Emergency, recognising the need to act in line with world-wide agreement on climate change and agreeing to play a leading role on the issue. Since then the Council has been working with partners, climate experts, local groups and businesses to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by the Climate Change agenda.

    Part of the Council’s response includes the Carbon Management Plan, which sets out how it will reduce emissions across Council services overthe next 10 years to be carbon neutral by 2030.

    Today’s funding announcement comes hot on the heels of news that the Council has secured £5.8m from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

    The scheme provides grant funding for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures across the public sector, targeting non-domestic buildings in England, as well as supporting green investment initiatives.

    In welcoming the HyNet funding announcement, Council leader, Cllr Louise Gittins, said: “Cheshire West and Chester has an ambition to be at the heart of the UK’s leading decarbonisation cluster, and export skills and knowledge nationally and internationally to support global action on climate change. It has a unique collection of natural assets and technical expertise to make that a reality. The HyNet North West project is comprehensively supported by regional leaders as a means to address carbon emissions, which are among the highest in the country. This exciting and world-leading project is essential for retaining our economically vital industry which employs over 340,000 highly skilled people in our region, the most of any part of the UK. At the same time, it will create thousands of new green jobs here and across the country.”

    David Parkin, Director of Progressive Energy and HyNetNW Project Director said: “We know we cannot reach net zero without decarbonising industry. HyNet North West is a game-changing project of strategic importance. It is uniquely developed to be low-cost and deliverable and will begin decarbonising the north west by 2025.

    “Through the production of low carbon hydrogen and the capturing, and storing, of carbon dioxide, it offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create real change in how we produce and use our energy, establishing a cleaner world for future generations. It will unlock a low carbon future economy in North West England and North Wales, not only reducing emissions but also creating and safeguarding jobs. We are pleased to be working with Government on making the Green Industrial Revolution a reality.”


  • West Cheshire set to benefit from Climate Emergency Fund

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    17 March 2021

    A dedicated Climate Emergency Fund, launched by Cheshire West and Chester Council, will provide a financial boost for local organisations and Council projects that can reduce carbon emissions. This is the second call for investment under this fund, following the first in Autumn 2020, in which 11 projects were awarded funding to deliver low-carbon outcomes.

    Applicants have until the 25 April 2021 to submit bids for a share of £100,000 available in the second funding round, which relates to this financial year (2021-22). Further rounds of Climate Emergency funding will be available from 2022 to 2024.

    The fund has been set up as part of the Council’s work on tackling the Climate Emergency. Local organisations that meet the criteria will be able to bid for funding.

    Successful applicants will need to provide evidence that their projects can be implemented swiftly and will make a strongly positive contribution to the borough’s ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

    Eligible organisations include town and parish councils, voluntary organisations, community groups, small charities and other not-for-profit-organisations.

    Examples of projects eligible for funding include (but are not limited to) the following.

    • Renewable energy projects
    • Energy efficiency projects
    • Heat pump projects
    • Zero or low carbon transport
    • Waste reduction
    • Natural capital/natural environment projects

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and the Climate Emergency, said: “We were pleased with the quality and number of responses we received last year, and so have increased the available funding from £60,000 to £100,000 to support community-led bids. We believe that we can only tackle this challenge by harnessing the enthusiasm, skill and knowledge in our communities. The Climate Emergency Fund is a way to support and deliver the innovative ideas people have to enhance their local areas, reduce carbon emissions, and make Cheshire West and Chester an even better place to call home."

    One project that secured funding during the first round of the Climate Emergency Fund was Guilden Sutton Green Space in Chester. Project leader Sarah Jessop from Guilden Sutton Green Space, said “The Climate Emergency funding has been the making of our green space project here in Guilden Sutton. We had already acquired substantial funding through the Mersey Forest project, but we really needed this top-up from the Climate Emergency fund to be able to purchase a piece of land to plant the trees on.

    “The response from the local community has been incredible. In just two weeks, around 70 volunteers have planted 4,600 trees. As well as capturing carbon as the trees grow, the new woodland will provide a place to exercise and enjoy nature in walking distance of people’s homes.”

    To find out more and view the Climate Emergency Fund guidance, visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/climateemergencyfund

  • Council secures funding to help improve energy efficient measures in local homes

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    1 March 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council has secured over £500,000 in funding to install energy efficient measures to some of the borough’s most inefficient homes.

    The funding, provided through the Government’s first phase of the national Green Homes Grant scheme for Local Authority Delivery, will be delivered through the Council’s partner Qwest Services.

    Energy efficient measures, such as cavity wall and loft insulation, will help to reduce carbon emissions produced from heating homes, whilst also tackling the poverty emergency by lowering fuel bills and improving the health and wellbeing of some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

    Work has already started to insulate park homes across the borough, and over the forthcoming months the Council will be identifying more eligible homes and installing energy saving measures so more residents can benefit from home improvements and help towards the borough’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

    All homes benefitting from the improvements will have a combined household income of less than £30,000 per year and will be within the lowest Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band ratings. The Council will contact eligible households directly to provide details of the energy efficient measures they can benefit from.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: “Housing makes up 14 per cent of the borough’s total carbon emissions, which all contribute to the global issue of climate change. It’s a key area for us to focus on and the success of our funding applications with our partner Qwest Services will help us to address the problem of cold homes for some of our most vulnerable residents and put us a step closer to our target of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2045.”

    Residents who would like to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes and don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the Local Authority Delivery scheme, can apply to the national Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme. This is separate to the Local Authority Delivery scheme and covers measures such as low-carbon heating and insulation.

    The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, which is available until March 2022, will provide two-thirds of the costs of installing eligible measures, to a maximum of £5,000, with homeowners contributing the remainder.

    In addition, residents in receipt of qualifying benefits looking to install eligible measures, can claim up to a maximum of £10,000 without having to contribute.

    The Green Homes Voucher Scheme is not administered by the Council. For more information on the voucher scheme visit www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk or call 0800 444 202.

  • Multi-million-pound grant secured to provide greener heating and energy measures

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    15 March 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council has secured a significant boost towards its ambitious target date of 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality for the Council’s own emissions, as well as a carbon neutral borough by 2045.

    Council company Qwest Services, in partnership with the Council, has secured £5,836,172 from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), which was launched by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy last year as part of a commitment to support the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by supporting skilled jobs in the low carbon and energy efficiency sectors.

    The scheme, managed by Salix Finance, provides grant funding for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures across the public sector, targeting non-domestic buildings in England, as well as supporting green investment initiatives.

    Qwest Services manages the Council’s Capital Works repair and maintenance schedule and submitted 14 buildings in the application for funding. These buildings were identified as being the most appropriate for the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps, Hybrid Heating Systems, Solar PV (Photovoltaic), also known as a solar electric system, and/or light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: “We have a responsibility to take concerted action at a local level to limit the impact of climate change. Last month, the Council published its plans showing how we will take collective action with our partners, industry and communities to make this borough carbon-neutral by 2045. Schemes such as this are critical to creating a cleaner, greener, fairer and more prosperous area.”

    The buildings named in the application include four schools, Deebank Primary, Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, Greenbank Primary and Helsby High School, and four Council buildings, Chester Crematorium, Grosvenor Museum, Northern Lights and Wyvern House.

    Six Brio Leisure sites are also part of the programme, including Ellesmere Port Sports Village, Christleton Sports Centre, Northgate Arena, Northwich Memorial Court, Neston Recreation Centre and Winsford Lifestyle Centre. Brio Leisure is another Council company, established to deliver community, sport, entertainment and leisure facilities in the borough.

    Brio’s Managing Director, Elly McFahn, said: “This decarbonisation investment comes at a really opportune time for Brio sites, as we are already underway in refurbishment and upgrade at Northgate Arena, and during the COVID-19 crisis and cessation of leisure activity have been working hard to improve and invest in our facilities. Brio sites are a significant user of utilities so having cost effective as well as carbon reducing solutions will ensure their longer-term sustainability for many years.”

    Now the funding has been secured, the next stage is for all buildings to have a technical design assessment. Installation works will be phased over the next six months with a target deadline for completion September 2021.

    Ben Cummins, Managing Director of Qwest Services, the Council company responsible for delivering the works, said: “Reflecting our commitment to deliver a carbon zero Cheshire West and Chester, Qwest has worked tirelessly over the last six months to secure £5.8m of grant funding from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. I am extremely proud of how Qwest teams have worked together to maximise the value of this funding for the Council to reduce annual energy bills by over £50k alongside a carbon reduction of 933 tCO2.”

  • Cheshire West leads the way to a green future

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    23 February 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester can play a leading role in a green industrial revolution. This is the verdict from the region’s business leaders following the announcement that Cheshire West and Chester Council and its partners helped to attract a £600m environmental energy project to the borough.

    Ellesmere Port-based Essar Oil (UK) Ltd has announced plans for an innovative bio-refinery which will convert waste into low carbon aviation fuel. The plans mean that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste that would have been destined for landfill or incineration will be processed into a sustainable fuel source. Earlier this year Essar also announced its participation in production of blue hydrogen under the HyNet project in Ellesmere Port.

    Clare Hayward MBE, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, welcomed the proposed investment: “Finding innovative, sustainable solutions that will benefit our economy in the long term whilst also helping the UK meet its low carbon ambitions is one of the LEP’s highest priorities. We are therefore delighted to see these plans announced for the bio-refinery at Stanlow, which also underlines our ambitions to make the Ellesmere Port area the World’s first Net Zero Industrial Cluster.

    “We believe Cheshire and Warrington can be a world leader in low carbon technology and play a leading role in the Government’s Green Industrial Revolution, so it’s great to see two global enterprises, Essar Oil and Fulcrum BioEnergy, recognising the capabilities and skills we have here with this huge proposed investment. We look forward to working with our partners locally and nationally to support these plans as they move forward.”

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council told the ‘North West Net Zero: The Road to COP26’ press conference yesterday (22 February) that: “Cheshire and Warrington, and particularly Ellesmere Port is at the heart of decarbonisation delivery for the North West and the UK. The investment opportunity of projects such as the Bio-refinery, HyNet and world-leading nuclear research will place Cheshire and Warrington at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, as a renewably powered ‘Superplace’.”

    The Essar announcement is the latest in a host of developments in Cheshire West and Chester which are creating a renewed sense of optimism in the borough’s future.

    Cheshire and Warrington are working with Manchester and Liverpool as part of the Net Zero North West project to produce a decarbonisation plan for the area. The development of the Net Zero North West Cluster will create at least 33,000 jobs and see over £4bn invested in the region.

    Added Councillor Gittins: “The Council has been working with Essar and the Department for International Trade for over two years and I’m delighted that the result is yet another major success story for Ellesmere Port. Not only will our borough be making a major contribution to the climate emergency but bringing both investment and green jobs to the area.

    “There is an air of optimism against the backdrop of 2020. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a major impact on our business community, but from what we are seeing, this hasn’t stopped many new start-ups and multi-million-pound investment projects across the borough. Let’s see Cheshire and Warrington leading the way to economic recovery.”

  • Council launches plan for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2045

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    10 February 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet has set out its plan for the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045.

    At a meeting today (Wednesday, 10 February) Cabinet Members approved the Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan which aims for the whole borough to be carbon neutral by 2045. The Cabinet also adopted its Carbon Management Plan which details how the authority will become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

    Both reports describe how west Cheshire is one of the highest carbon-emitting areas in the UK. It also recognises the world-leading decarbonisation work going on in the borough through projects such as Net Zero North West and HyNet, focussing on reducing carbon emissions across the industrial sector. Assets, particularly in the Ellesmere Port Industrial Area and Cheshire Science Corridor are vital to these plans and the collaboration between industry, public sector and academia is key.

    The plans outline the significant changes that will be needed to the way that people live, work and travel to meet the highly challenging goals set.

    These include prioritising making journeys by no-carbon options such as walking and cycling, introducing energy saving measures in homes, increasing recycling rates and buying local to help reduce transport emissions.

    They have been developed following an extensive process of co-production with communities and stakeholders via the Council’s cross-party Climate Emergency Taskforce last year. The plans include actions and targets that the Council will regularly monitor in an annual review.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency and chair of the Climate Emergency Taskforce, said: “These plans set out a comprehensive framework for our local climate action. We have made an ambitious start to tackling this challenge but know this is not a quick fix, and that we need further investment both locally and from central Government.

    “Our role as a Council and a Taskforce is to bring together the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm in our communities to enable us all to play our part in tackling the Climate Emergency, this starts with the Council setting an example and working closely with partners to deliver on the commitments in the plans. ”

    Dr Simon Dowell, Science Director at Chester Zoo, said: “It’s great to see the final Climate Emergency Response Plan confirmed for the borough. It’s an ambitious plan but one that is vital to address this urgent global issue. We were delighted to host the West Cheshire Action on Climate Emergency conference last year and to be involved in delivering transformative environmental benefits for the borough. As a conservation charity we have been encouraged by the great enthusiasm and support from partners across the city and we believe that by acting together we can all make a real difference for wildlife and for the future of our planet .”

    The Cabinet also committed to work with Cheshire West Voluntary Action and the Chester Sustainability Forum to support the ten Green pledges, which individuals and businesses can sign up to, to declare how they will make changes to reduce their carbon footprint.

    The Climate Emergency Response Plan and Carbon Management Plan can be viewed online: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/climateemergency

  • Electric scooter trial to be launched in Chester

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    10 December 2020

    People in Chester will soon be able to get around using hired electric scooters, as part of a trial to encourage greener travel methods.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with e-scooter provider Ginger, will launch a 12-month trial in the city from Monday, 21 December.

    The trial is part of a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative that was approved by the government earlier this year.

    As part of an effort to ease the pressure on local public transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DFT wants to explore how e-scooters can complement existing transport options, especially for short trips.

    The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore said: “This is an exciting opportunity to explore new greener transport options for our historic City. The trial of rental e-scooters starting in Chester could offer cleaner, efficient and more affordable travel for local communities, complementing the Council’s wider transport initiatives. The e-scooters will also help visitors explore our many attractions, supporting the city centre economy.

    “We’ve been able to learn from trials that have already been launched in other parts of the country. Colleagues in Cheshire Police have also been involved in our planning to ensure measures are in place to avoid misuse.”

    The scooters will not move unless unlocked by a valid driving licence holder, they will cut out if taken into a location that is not approved for their use and there is a speed limiter.

    Cllr Shore added: “This is a 12-month trial and I’m sure some the scooter parking locations and operational elements will change and evolve as we explore how this mode of transport can be used in Chester. I encourage residents, businesses and visitors to participate in the trial and provide feedback.”

    Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan added: “This e-scooters trial will provide a greener travel solution for the city, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and encouraging people to leave their car at home. E-scooters offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car for shorter journeys and will also help tackle air pollution.

    “Council officers have also engaged with the Disability Access Forum who will help provide the insights and data we need to determine whether e-scooters are a viable part of a greener and healthier future for Chester.”

    Ginger CEO Paul Hodgins said, "We are very excited to be bringing one of the national e-scooter pilots to Chester and to be working together with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

    "Ginger had the first pilot in the country, and we are now live in multiple towns across the UK. Like all our pilots, we will start on a small-scale, with dedicated parking bays, introducing the trial to Chester in a controlled and safe manner."

    Ginger will be managing the e-scooters in Chester and full details, FAQs and location maps for the Chester scheme will be available on their website soon. Users will need to download the Ginger Shared Transport App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The e-scooters cost £2 per 20 minutes of journey time and 50p per 10 minutes of pausing time.

    Scooters will continue to charge their user until they are parking properly in a designated escooter parking area and the ride is ended on the app.

    Anyone hiring e-scooters with Ginger needs to be aged 18 or over, with a valid driving licence (full or provisional) or a motorcycle licence.

  • Council helps Winsford Community Grocery reduce food waste in the borough

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    7 December 2020

    As part of a borough-wide ‘Wasting Food: It’s Out Of Date’ campaign, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire West Recycling have donated a variety of Recycle 1st waste reduction goodies to Winsford Community Grocery, to help reduce food waste in the borough.

    Winsford Community Grocery is a not for profit organisation, staffed by volunteers with the aim of reducing food waste. Their volunteers have a wealth of food knowledge and understand the issues surrounding ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ dates and food storage solutions.

    The team supports residents of Winsford and surrounding areas by providing much-needed drop-in centres, offering essential fresh food and dietary staples, drinks, and so much more for a very reasonable £3 per bag.

    Residents can choose their shopping from a vast variety of fruits and veg, tinned and packaged foods, pastries, dairy products, bottled drinks and even washing detergents.

    The money made from the sale of their food bags goes back into buying the essentials to provide for the community at a greatly discounted rate.

    Staff from the grocery are keen to express that this is only the start. They would like to expand this service across the borough. If you would like to know more and get involved contact Winsford Community Grocery via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/winsfordcommunitygrocery.

    The items donated, normally available from Cheshire West Recycling’s visitor centre, are helpful tools to encourage residents to think about their impact on the environment and help them to reduce their waste by making food matter and using reusable items made from recycled materials instead of disposable plastics, and other environment harming products.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: "How we think about our waste can really make a difference. The Winsford Community Grocery initiative accesses food items that would otherwise be thrown away by local supermarkets and other stores. This does not mean that their food is ‘out of date’, in fact, Winsford Community Grocery receives items that are sometimes close to their ‘sell-by’ date, not their ‘use by’ date, which means that their foods are still fresh, edible and 100% delicious.”

    Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan added: “I’m delighted we have been able to support Winsford Community Grocery and the wonderful work they do.

    “When we throw away our leftovers, spoiled or out of date fresh food, milk or bread, we’re not just wasting food and our money, but all of the resources and energy that have gone into growing, harvesting, refrigerating, packing and shipping that food to the shops that we buy it from.

    “Making small changes to our food buying habits and the amount of food we waste can make a real difference to our environment and help protect our planet from the worst effects of climate change.”

    Making use of these foods instead of wasting them also encourages buyers to only take what they need - making this initiative a great contribution to the reduction of food waste whilst helping those in need.

    For more information on food waste and to find out what you can do to help, visit: www.outofdate.org.uk.

  • Chester sees massive 300 per cent increase in cycling

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    7 December 2020

    Active Travel in Chester brings a 300 per cent increase in cycling.

    An Active Travel lane into Chester city centre has seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of cyclists using it over the weekend.

    Before the trial lanes were introduced at the beginning of October, the A51 Boughton Road, saw 77 cyclists use it over 12 hours on a Saturday.

    The latest figures reveal that the same lane has seen 252 riders use it over a comparable 12-hour period. The number of cyclists using the road rather than the footway has also increased during this time.

    While the use of public transport has been less than pre-COVID times, and more people have been working from home, both trial active travel lanes are busy bus routes with a high number of services operating to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

    There are around 450 buses and coaches travelling along the A51 between 7am and 7pm weekdays and 350 on Saturdays. On the A5116 there are around 240 buses and coaches between 7am and 7pm weekdays and 200 on Saturdays.

    The trial Active Travel lanes are in place to help both cyclists and public transport and one bus operator is already noticing the improvements.

    Matt Davies, Managing Director, Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire said: “The new trial active travel lanes on the A5116 Liverpool Road through Upton and the A51 from Boughton, have already benefitted bus services through improving punctuality and reliability and reducing journey times.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact that poor air quality has on our communities and as we begin to focus our efforts on recovery, we must ensure it is a green one.

    “Only by focussing on public transport, cycling and walking will we reduce our dependency on the private car and ease congestion and improve air quality.

    “We are confident that the improved journey times and bus reliability delivered by the active travel lanes, together with contactless payments and live bus tracking will encourage much greater use of public transport as our society emerges from the crisis.”

    In the first month of the Active Travel lanes, the average two-way weekday flow between 7am and 7pm on the two trial routes was roughly 20,500 vehicles on the A51 and 12,000 vehicles on the A5116.

    The average daily flows on Cheshire’s A roads from Saturday, 26 September to Sunday, 25 October were down by approximately 24 per cent when compared to the same dates last year, due to the impacts of the COVID pandemic on travel behaviours.

    Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “The trial measures we have put in place are aimed at making the journey into Chester as easy and environmentally friendly as possible.

    “Early results are encouraging and have certainly benefited cyclists. The trial is for six months and if we are successful in encouraging people away from unnecessary use of the private car, particularly for short trips, then we will all benefit from less pollution, help to protect the climate and provide sustainable support to the city’s economy. We continue to listen to residents and businesses during the trial period.”

    As well as study the volume and make-up of traffic on the roads, the council is investigating how the changes could make the air cleaner. Air quality monitors are positioned along both Active Travel routes which measure pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particulates as well as weather data.

    The latest data will be made available to the new Sustainable Transport Taskforce who will meet virtually on Thursday, 10 December 2020 commencing at 5.30pm.

    Anyone wishing to attend the Taskforce meeting should request joining instructions before midday on 10 December via transportstrategy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

  • Cheshire West and Chester to benefit from £12 million plan for 500 hectares of new woodland in England by 2021

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    7 December 2020

    The Mersey Forest will be one of 10 Community Forests across England planting more than 500 hectares of trees over the next five months, in a push to help deliver the Government’s tree planting targets.

    The new programme - Trees for Climate - will see trees planted in Community Forests that span the country, from Yorkshire to Somerset.
    When mature, the trees will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of over 45,000 trans-Atlantic flights and contribute to meeting the government’s net zero by 2050 target.

    The project will also reduce flood risk, increase sustainable UK grown timber, provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increase peoples’ access to and enjoyment of woodland. The funding will also create new jobs and secure existing ones within the forestry and environmental sector, helping to boost local economies as part of a green recovery.

    Last year, Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to support schemes to accelerate tree planting in the area. Trees for Climate will help do just that – and the Council is playing a leading role nationally by acting as the legal accountable body for the whole programme.

    In the next five months, The Mersey Forest Partnership is aiming to plant nearly 40 hectares of new woodland – about one and a half times the size of Chester Racecourse – around Merseyside and North Cheshire, within urban parks and green spaces and on farmland. Landowners should contact The Mersey Forest Team if they have land suitable for tree planting.

    Forestry Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said: “Through this exciting new programme we will build back greener, as more communities - particularly those in urban environments – will have access to nature, with real benefits for health and wellbeing.

    “Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. This vital programme will plant trees where they are most needed to stem flooding and provide more places for nature to thrive.”

    Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said: “The Trees for Climate programme will plant more trees targeted at areas in Cheshire where they can make the greatest difference, in particular to local quality of life and levels of health and wellbeing. We've shown how trees and woodlands boost our local economy, reduce flooding, create new habitats for wildlife and increase community spirit.

    “The national network of Community Forests has been working for over 25 years to bring nature closer to people and local communities and is perfectly placed to deliver real change, on the ground.”

    Trees for Climate will help deliver against the goals in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and support Nature Recovery Networks across England. It has been drawn up together with The Community Forest Trust, the national charity for community forestry and is being delivered through Cheshire West and Chester Council, the accountable body for the programme.

    As well as funding the tree planting activity itself, the grant will enable each of the Community Forests to manage all aspects of the new woodland creation carefully, including community and landowner engagement. New approaches to woodland creation and long-term management of woodland will also be developed.

    Cheshire West and Chester’s Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Cllr Matt Bryan, said: “The Mersey Forest is a homegrown success story which has brought the green agenda right to the forefront in Cheshire and Merseyside. It has inspired many local residents to re-connect with nature and has created green oases within our region for everyone to enjoy.

    “Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face at every level, from locally to globally and it’s vital that we all do our part to protect the planet for future generations.

    “The Trees for Climate programme is an ideal opportunity for us all to take practical steps to combat climate change and to further enhance our natural landscapes.”

    Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley, said: “This exciting new programme will benefit local communities all across England - helping to increase access to nature, creating much needed jobs in the environmental sector and bringing invaluable benefits to people’s health and wellbeing.

    “The £12.1 million boost will be a huge help both for getting trees in the ground, but also enabling each of the Community Forests to ensure they are well-managed in the long term, making sure these new woods can thrive to the fullest extent.”