Camden council is drawing up proposals for a long term Clean Air Action Plan to address air pollution in the north London borough.
Engagement has begun with community groups, residents and businesses in the borough as part of the Camden Clean Air Partnership to draw on practical measures to address air pollution effectively.
Last week the council held a partnership meeting, co-chaired by University College London to canvas views on the issue, as part of its Camden 2025 engagement programme. An initial draft of the plan is expected to be published in early 2019.
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council said: “Camden 2025 is our community’s vision for the borough, developed from speaking with thousands of local people about what we want for the future of our borough. These are challenging times for the public sector entering our eighth year of budget cuts but we are determined to stay ambitious for our community. Camden 2025 is about bringing together the huge energy and creativity in Camden to take on the big challenges we face from youth safety to social isolation.
“Clean air was one of residents’ top priorities. People described their fear about the air their families breathe and the health issues they were experiencing. We will only achieve our ambitious targets on improving air quality if we all work together, from walking and cycling more to more sustainable construction practices. We are excited about what will come from a new shared approach led by our communities.”
Camden has already outlined its aims to go beyond current legal limits for particulate emissions, and to achieve World Health Organisation recommended levels for PM2.5 and PM10 emissions (see airqualitynews.com story).
Dr Celia Caulcott, UCL’s Vice-Provost for Enterprise and London said: “UCL is delighted to be working with Camden to support the borough as it co-designs a new Clean Air Action Plan to support all its residents, visitors and workers.
“Air quality is a challenge that no person or organisation can face alone. Everyone in Camden is affected by our air quality, and as a leading university embedded in the heart of Camden, UCL shares the challenge and believes that we have real responsibilities to help find solutions to improve air quality for us all.â€?
The council has also this year begun a 12-month pilot project to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) to drivers who refuse to switch off their engines when stationary in their vehicles, which began in March (see airqualitynews.com story).
Under the scheme, drivers found to be unnecessarily idling their vehicles by a council enforcement officer face an initial fixed penalty charge of £20, when paid within 28 days, rising to £40 after that period. Failure to pay could incur a maximum fine of up to £1,000 upon prosecution.