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Sutton Council announces revised Air Quality Action Plan

Sutton Council has announced the revision of its Air Quality Action Plan which sets out how it aims to deliver air quality improvements in the borough.

The revised plan, which outlines how the council aims to improve the borough’s air quality between 2019 and 2023, was announced on Clean Air Day at Robin Hood Junior School last week.

Initiatives included in the Air Quality Action Plan aimed at reducing air pollution and improving residents’ health and quality of life include boosting Sutton’s public transport options and reducing the number of journeys made in the borough by private vehicles.

Cllr Manuel Abellan, chair of Sutton Council’s Environment & Neighbourhoods Committee, said: ‘Sutton is committed to improving air quality within its borough and has ambitions to become the greenest borough in London.

‘Our revised Air Quality Action Plan updates and replaces the previous version that was published in 2013. Since this time we have implemented a number of measures to improve the borough’s air quality, for example, through controlling emissions associated with new developments, delivering schemes that improve the pedestrian and cycling environment and working with businesses to help them reduce their fuel consumption.

‘Although we meet most of the national targets, we should still strive for better. We have, therefore, set tougher targets so that we continue to push ourselves to improve.’

Sutton high street. Credit: Tony Monblat. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sutton’s new Air Quality Action Plan sets out how it aims to achieve priorities such as supporting the transport objectives of London mayor Sadiq Khan.

The council’s plan to do this involves providing healthy streets and implementing traffic reduction strategies like improving infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

The borough will also work with Transport for London (TfL) to maximise opportunities for travel by public transport and will aim to install further ULEV infrastructure such as standard and rapid electric vehicle charging points.

Other priorities for the council outlined in the Air Quality Action Plan include supporting businesses to implement emissions reductions strategies, managing construction’s impact of air quality, and implementing campaigns to raise awareness of air pollution.

‘We recognise that we cannot solve the problem of air pollution on our own,’ Cllr Abellan said in his foreword to the plan.

‘We will strive to build partnerships and work with others to ensure that everyone plays their part in improving air quality. Only through us all playing our part, can we protect the health of those who live, work, study and visit the borough.’

Sutton is currently meeting all national air quality strategy objectives for pollutant levels in the borough apart from nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The borough is also meeting EU limits for particulate matter (PM10), although its PM10 levels are currently exceeding World Health Organisation guidelines.

This has led the council to state its aim to be ‘ambitious’ in its aims for further improving on air pollution in the borough.

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