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Saffron Walden Clean Air Project

We have won funding from DEFRA to launch a pilot clean air project in Saffron Walden.

The vision

The clean air project will pilot green modes of transport and encourage active travel in the town, with the long-term aim of reducing car use for short in-town journeys, to help reduce road congestion and improve air quality.  This will include piloting and encouraging take up of a range of shared transport schemes such as: e-bike hire, e-cargo bike hire, zero emissions deliveries, electric vehicle car club and 'try before you buy' bikes


Saffron Walden Clean Air project is a DEFRA funded project aimed at creating a 'cleaner, healthier and greener' Saffron Walden for everyone to enjoy. We want to encourage active travel where possible so that people see walking or cycling as their first choice of transport for short in town journeys.


This project is being undertaken to improve air quality in Saffron Walden. The medieval road layout of the town means that high volumes of vehicles including HGVs come into close proximity with high numbers of pedestrians. Elevated emissions are associated with high volumes of slow-moving traffic, stopping and starting to negotiate junctions and pedestrian crossings, leading to higher levels of emissions than free flowing traffic.  

Despite recent improvements in air quality we recognise that there is a need to do more to reduce emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter and make the town a healthier place to live.


This project and funding is specific to Saffron Walden town only. However, if successful, we hope that some of our pilot zero emission shared transport schemes will be able to be replicated across the district at a later date. The project provides a unique opportunity to test different methods of operation to see what will work best for our communities.


Please do come and meet our Climate Change team at any one of these free events, and have some fun too!

Thursday 1 June - World bike day, Market Square, Saffron Walden, 10am to 3pm

E-bike icon
Free family rides around Saffron Walden

The free family rides around Saffron Walden will be led by trained professionals to increase your awareness, confidence and skills cycling on the road.

You can book your session on the Essex cycle ready website:

Smoothie bike

Free smoothie bike - come and make a smoothie from pedal power! Great for you and the planet

Free learn to ride sessions for children

Bring your children along for free learn to ride their bike sessions.

You can book your session on the Essex cycle ready website:

Free bike doctor

Bring your old or broken bikes in need of some love to the bike doctor to get them fixed for free! Whether they just need a check over and an oil or some more serious TLC come along and get your wheels ready for a summer of cycling!

We are running this event in conjunction with Saffron Walden Town Council.

Saturday 10 June - ECO Fair, the Common, Saffron Walden

CO2 icon

Come and join us at the Eco Fair on the Common from 10am to 4pm where you'll find:

  • free e-cargo bike try-outs from Outspoken cycles
  • Energy savings Trust to talk about EV cars and how to save money and energy in your home
  • Community energy south - how you can set up community energy groups and projects and access funding - come and talk to them

Our Climate Change and Recycling & Waste teams will be there to offer advice and hear your opinions.

Sunday 16 July - free advanced led bike rides, Saffron Walden

E-bike icon

Join one of our advanced bike rides to see more of the lovely countryside around Saffron Walden.

Routes of approximately 2 hours in length led by professionals to increase your confidence cycling further afield round Saffron Walden and to Audley End station.

Competent children welcome - but must be able to ride for 2 hours at a medium pace.

You can book your session on the Essex cycle ready website:


Project workstreams

This project is centred around 3 workstreams which have separate projects within them.

Pollution awareness and behaviours change

  • Wood burning particulate matter study and public health campaign
  • Business engagement project
  • Town-wide air pollution awareness and behaviour change campaign
  • Schools education and behaviour change project

Active travel and zero emission shared transport

  • E bike hire
  • Community e cargo bikes
  • Electric vehicle car club
  • Try before you buy scheme
  • Car free market place

Traffic management, freight, loading and parking studies

  • Traffic management strategy
  • Town centre parking and servicing strategy
  • HGV access and routing

Current projects

We have a number of projects up and running.

E-mobility schemes

 Electric Vehicle (EV) car club project

Electric vehicle icon

As part of the Saffron Walden Clean Air initiative we are going to launch an EV car club within Saffron Walden.

Follow this page for more updates as we procure a supplier and decide on locations.

There will be offers and deals to enable residents to try using an EV car club car.

Please email to register your interest in the Electric car club

For more information please click below to see an example case study of a successful Electric car club in a rural community.

Case study: Teviot Electric Car Club (

EV bike share

E-bike icon

As part of the Saffron Walden Clean Air Project we are hoping to launch some form of EV bike share scheme.

At present we do not know how these will take shape but are working with consultants and our survey information will help to inform us as to which model to use when delivering this project.

Please follow the links below to find out more about the different types of schemes that have been successful and what our schemes may look like.

Shared bikes > Existing schemes and operators (

The Lake District village that's pioneering community e-bike schemes | Move Electric

Please fill in the e-mobility survey to help us deliver this project for the people of Saffron Walden

EV cargo bikes

EV cargo bike icon

As part of the Saffron Walden Clean Air project we are hoping to pilot a community EV cargo bike.

We are also hoping to deliver a zero emissions delivery service using e-cargo bikes. We are hoping these could link in with the existing very successful market days in Saffron Walden.

Please see the links below for examples of schemes involving e-cargo bikes that have worked elsewhere.

OurBike community electric cargo bike share scheme | Lambeth Council

Giving cargo bikes a try - Porty Community Energy's Story - YouTube

Colchester e-Cargo bike library ยท Colchester City Council

If you think you may be interested in trying a cargo bike please fill in our survey so we can find out more.

Schools engagement and behaviour change project

Schools engagement and behaviour change

Schools engagement icon

As part of the Saffron Walden Clean Air project we have commissioned a schools behaviour change and engagement project. This will involve:

  • creating sustainable Active Travel travel plans
  • encouraging Active Travel to and from School
  • collecting Air Pollution data
  • events and education
  • school travel Surveys

There will be many opportunities for the children of Saffron Walden to get involved with this project and for parents to support them in walking, wheeling or scooting to school.

Follow our schools engagement project for more updates as the initiative gets underway.