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Havering to approve air quality strategy

Councillors are expected to vote to approve a new air quality strategy for the London Borough of Havering at a meeting of the council’s cabinet tonight (13 December).

Havering, which includes the areas of Romford and Upminster in the east of London, has set aside around £125,000 for the implementation of the strategy, and will seek to secure additional funds from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, Transport for London and Defra.

Havering has developed Miles the Mole to help raise awareness of issues around air pollution in the borough

The draft action plan, which if approved by councillors, will be put out for a 10-week consultation by the council, sets out a series of policies to be implemented across the borough over the next five years (2018-2023) aimed at improving air quality.

The strategy centres on four key policy strands: monitoring and modelling, awareness raising and encouraging smarter travel, reducing emissions from buildings and developments and reducing emissions from transport.

Among the improvements to monitoring process proposed by the council are the introduction of AQ Mesh Pods to provide real time measurements for schools to use as part of an air quality publicity campaign.

AQMA

The council will also re-assess the status of the whole of the borough as an air quality management area, and instead look to focus on key hotspots and major routes through the borough. A feasibility study will also be undertaken to set up a permanent continuous monitoring location.

On public health, the council intends to promote walking and engage with over 50s forums to form a walking club, continue to use the ‘Miles the Mole’ character developed by the council as an air quality champion to raise awareness of air quality issues among residents and to promote the use of public transport by residents.

Supplementary planning guidance will also be produced for developers to assess the impact of new developments on emissions within the borough, and provide guidance on complying with requirements under London’s Low Emission Zone for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM).

Elsewhere the council is looking at setting up dedicated drop-off zones outside schools for buses and coaches, renewing its taxi framework to comply with ULEZ requirements, improving electric car charging infrastructure, and reviewing parking charge policies.

London Borough of Havering was among the finalists for the Local Authority Air Quality Initiative of the Year Award, at the 2017 National Air Quality Awards, for the Miles the Mole communications initiative.

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