Cleaning up the air that you breathe

 

Freight and service-delivery vehicles, along with construction sites, will be among the areas subject to stricter scrutiny as Croydon Council seeks to improve air quality across the borough.

With the publication of its five-year draft Air Quality Action Plan, the council is asking residents, communities and businesses to help reduce air pollution that affects the health and well-being of everyone in Croydon, and make the borough’s air cleaner, greener and safer.

The draft Air Quality Action Plan will be available from Monday (26) at
www.croydon.gov.uk/environment/pollution/air-pollution/draft-air-quality-action-plan-2017.

And the council is hosting an Air Quality Summit, also on Monday, to look at actions that can be taken to tackle air pollution.

The new action plan has been produced to build upon successes that came out of the 2012-17 plan, including:
•    the establishment of a Zip Car club that has seen 1,638 residents join;
•    the installation of 47 electric-vehicle charging points;
•    the installation of 20 idling-vehicle signs at borough schools;
•    the implementation of the town-centre construction logistics plan; and
•    the Clean Air 4 Schools project in six borough primary schools.

Air pollution is associated with a number of health conditions, including the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable – children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.

One of the major contributors to air pollution is nitrogen dioxide produced by diesel vehicles. In tackling diesel emissions, the council, in conjunction with Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth, is working to improve air quality by reducing the number of delivery vehicles travelling into the borough; 17% of transport emissions are from vehicles associated with delivery and servicing.

The council is working with local business and retailers to find out how goods and services are and will be delivered, and what issues they expect to encounter.

To address the issue of emissions produced by construction sites and construction vehicles, the council has implemented a town-centre construction logistics plan setting out measures to manage and communicate what is being done to ensure that visitors, residents and businesses can continue to function. These actions are considered essential to keep Croydon “business as usual” during the development works planned for the town centre over the next few years.

The Air Quality Summit will take place from 1pm on Monday 26 June at Croydon Conference Centre, Surrey Street. Places are limited, so anybody wishing to attend should book at www.eventbrite.com/e/air-quality-summit-tickets-35175268174

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment

“The quality of the air we breathe has a huge impact on our quality of life. Pollution impacts everyone’s health and well-being, but it has a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable, such as children, older people and those with health conditions. Improving air quality is vital if we want to make Croydon not only cleaner and greener but also safer.

“However, we can’t do this in isolation. We strongly support the Mayor of London’s plans to improve air quality across the capital and his call for government to give local authorities greater power to tackle the problem. It’s time to work with him, our local partners and the community to achieve real change.

“The council’s committed to reducing the exposure of people in Croydon to poor air quality in order to improve health. We’re asking residents to work with us and I hope everyone will get involved by taking part in the Air Quality Action Plan consultation to help us draw up our plan of action.”

Residents are being given the chance to get involved by taking part in the Air Quality Action Plan consultation; it will be available from Monday (26) at https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk

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