Warrington borough council has formally adopted its five-year plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide pollution, which includes measures such as greater use of electric vehicles and establishing new cycling and walking links.
The plan, which was first put forward in November, and adopted following a four week consultation with residents and businesses, outlines actions that the council intends to take through to 2022 to improve air quality (see airqualitynews.com story).
Described by the council as a ‘live’ working document, the Plan includes the potential to explore establishment of a clean air zone within the borough.
The local authority has pledged to commission a feasibility study to examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of the measure, and how it is like to encourage behaviour change to address air pollution.
A total of 17 measures are outlined within the Plan – reduced from 18 within the draft version of the document put forward in November – after the public consultation raised concerns about the potential establishment of a workplace charging levy.
This would have seen employers pay a fee based on the number of parking spaces offered to employees in a bid to encourage active travel.
Instead, through the Plan, the council will focus on measures including development of new Public Transport and Cleaner Fuels Strategies and reviewing the current Smoke Control Area in effect in the borough.
The authority has also received £300,000 in funding from the Department for Transport to produce a pilot project to monitor journey times, which will result in a smart phone app which users can then use to improve their travel across the region.
Additionally the council is to produce a new air quality website, focusing on providing real-time data and annual reports, advice on reducing emissions and learning materials for schools.
Commenting on the Plan, the council’s executive board member for environment and public protection, Cllr Judith Guthrie, said: “Warrington’s Air Quality Action Plan is a hugely important part of our work to protect Warrington’s environment, enhance the quality of air that we breathe and help improve the health of local people.
“It is an issue which affects everyone, and that’s why we’ve consulted fully on this, listened carefully to people’s views and taken all ideas on-board.
“I’m looking forward to the plan beginning to make a difference to air quality in our borough in the coming years. It will form a vital part of our plans for the future of the borough and the health of our residents.â€?
Warrington Air Quality Action Plan 2017-2022