Guildford readies Air Quality Strategy

Guildford borough council has unveiled plans to address air pollution within the borough, having launched a new Air Quality Strategy today (30 November).

The strategy, which was approved at a meeting of the council’s Executive on Tuesday (28 November) includes measures to encourage a switch to low emission transport, an anti-idling campaign to encourage drivers to turn off their engines and additional electric vehicle charging points.

Guildford council has agreed proposals to address air pollution as part of a new Air Quality Strategy

The Surrey authority has said it will work alongside other bodies including Surrey county council, bus companies and Surrey University to deliver the strategy.

Projects to be implemented as part of the strategy include the development of a framework to monitor roadside air quality in the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area; lowering parking charges for electric car drivers and reducing emissions from the council’s own vehicle fleet.

The council has said it will also support local bus companies’ bids for government funding to increase the number of low and ultra-low emissions buses in the borough.

Measures

Councillor Philip Brooker, lead councillor for housing and environment said: “I’m pleased to see our new Air Quality Strategy now in place. This draws together a number of measures to help improve air quality in our borough and make it a more pleasant place to live. Overall air quality in our borough is good, but we want to improve it for everyone and we are working closely with our partners on ways we can tackle this.

“Encouraging people to use more sustainable transport, like buses or trains, or joining a car share club, is a great start. But we also need to encourage the use of electric cars and I’m pleased to say we are doing just that, with more electric car charging points coming soon.”

The new strategy was developed following a report presented by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November 2016. Following approval by the Council’s Executive in February 2017, an Air Quality Monitoring Working Group was set up to implement their recommendations, including the development of the new Air Quality Strategy.

An Air Quality Management Area for a small area of Compton was also approved at the Executive meeting last night. A draft action plan to improve air quality in the area affected includes potential traffic solutions to reduce the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide.

The council will now consult with Surrey county council, Defra, local residents and Waverley borough council on the proposals.