Cornwall Council has announced its latest clean air strategy which includes plans to cut pollution from wood burners and speed up the county’s switch to electric vehicles.
The council’s Clean Air Strategy For Cornwall 2019-2024 proposes the provision of more charging points for electric vehicle drivers to use and replacing the council’s fleet of diesel vehicles with lower-emitting alternatives.
The strategy, linked to the council’s climate change plans backed by its cabinet last week, also outlines plans to create a new ‘Forest for Cornwall’ by planting trees across the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate.
Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: ‘The health of Cornwall residents is of paramount importance to Cornwall Council and improving local air quality is a key priority.
‘Air quality in Cornwall is generally very good but there are areas where traffic-related levels of pollution need to be improved.
‘The Clean Air Strategy is an essential document for Cornwall Council, our community and our partners.
‘It offers a range of interventions and policies that will contribute to tackling poor air quality and ensure future activities and developments help to continually improve air quality and the wellbeing and sustainability for residents and visitors.’
Cornwall enjoys generally good air quality in residential areas but, like many other council areas, it struggles with traffic-related air pollution along busy stretches of road.
The new clean air strategy aims to tackle air quality issues specific to Cornwall as a whole, such as its high number of older, more polluting diesel vehicles compared to the rest of the UK.
Over the next five years, the council plans to improve access to public transport and increase the number of public electric vehicle charging points, while switching its own operations to 100% renewable energy.
The council will also look to raise awareness of air pollution among residents by discouraging drivers from idling and sharing advice on reducing pollution from wood-burning stoves.
The council recently launched an interactive online map to make the results of its air quality monitoring more accessible to residents.
Nolan added: ‘It is worth noting that traffic pollution hangs in tight pockets on busy roads but reduces considerably with distance away from the road.
‘Our new air quality interactive map can help pedestrians and cyclists find alternative routes away from busy traffic.’
The council is set to launch a public consultation on its new air quality strategy by the end of this year.
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