Cambridge city council is inviting views on a five-year air quality plan that was launched for consultation by the authority last week (21 June).
Proposals in the strategy broadly fall under three headings: reducing traffic emissions ‘as quickly as possible’, maintaining pollutants below national levels and, protecting public health by improving air quality in the future.
Alongside the city council, the draft plan has been developed jointly with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire county council.
The plan aims to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 5.2%, through policies including a Clean Air Zone, new licensing conditions for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to switch to low emission vehicles and ensuring that new developments favour cycling and walking instead of car usage.
On the Clean Air Zone the council has revealed that it is exploring whether measures could be put in place to restrict some of the more polluting HGVs, buses and taxis – with the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership having commissioned a feasibility study to explore the potential impact of the scheme.
The council is targeting 30% electric or petrol-hybrid taxi fleet in Cambridge by 2023, moving towards 100% electric or petrol-hybrid taxi fleet in the city by 2028.
By 2022 Cambridge city council has also outlined an ambition to have 100% of the city’s bus and coach fleet to be running on Euro VI or better. This could lead to a reduction of 75% in NOx from the coaches and buses currently operating on the city’s roads, the council believes.
The council will also seek to increase the number of its own staff cycling or ‘choosing healthy commuting options’ to get to work.
Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Rosy Moore, Cambridge’s executive councillor for environment and city centre, said: “One of the council’s main priorities, especially as the city grows, is to ensure that Cambridge remains an attractive and safe place for people to live, work and visit.
“Poor air quality can have a seriously detrimental effect on people’s health, which is why it is vital we take steps to ensure the air we all breathe remains safe for everyone.
“Our draft Air Quality Action Plan sets out some of the ways we aim to ensure this in the years to come. We would welcome your views on our proposals, and any other suggestions for tackling air quality in the city.â€?
Residents, businesses and other stakeholders have been given until 21 September to respond to the consultation.
Cambridge city council Air Quality Plan Consultation