Consultation launched on steps to tackle air pollution
Published: 4 April 2019
Council plans to tackle toxic air pollution and protect the health of people in the borough have been published for consultation.
In Redbridge, outdoor air pollution comes primarily from vehicle exhaust fumes, particularly older diesel vehicles.
Evidence shows that spending time in areas with high levels of air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms, damage lung function and is linked to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.
A report by Kings College, GLA and TfL estimated that the number of deaths from air pollution in Redbridge in 2010 was 396.
Public responses to the consultation will shape the council’s ‘Air Quality Action Plan’ for the next five years.
Proposals under consideration include additional parking charges for ‘dirty’ diesel vehicles – those that are below the Euro 6 standard.
Vehicle tax is based on emissions and many other London boroughs are taking similar approaches to parking and aligning charges to emissions as a way of improving air quality in their areas.
Introducing a low-emission neighbourhood in Ilford town centre to help reduce car use by creating segregated cycle lanes for safer travel and enhanced open spaces is also up for discussion.
The journey to and from school is also set to become whole lot healthier with the introduction of ‘clean air zones’.
The initiative will see roads leading to schools closed to traffic at the start and end of the day – with the first trial at SS Peter and Paul’s and Gordon primary schools due to begin in the summer term.
The council will continue to push more sustainable forms of travel, including cycling and walking, to encourage an active lifestyle and reduce traffic and air pollution.
Measures already introduced include Quietway 6 to provide a safe and quiet route for residents across the borough to cycle rather than take trips in their car.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Jas Athwal said: “It is essential we do everything possible to protect the health of our children now, and in the future. Pollution is causing long-term health issues for children across London and I am determined to work with residents, my council colleagues and the Mayor of London to reduce the impact in Redbridge.”
“I know many residents share these concerns and I am looking forward to hearing your feedback and ideas for how we can make our borough cleaner and greener while building a better future for our families.”
Cabinet Member for Civic Pride Cllr John Howard said: “Polluted air leads to increased illnesses and the risk of early death. These important proposals are part of our determined efforts to protect the health of our residents, particularly children and the most vulnerable. We know that reducing air pollution is a top priority for our residents and something we must tackle now. I urge everyone to take a few minutes to have their say on the proposals we are considering. The comments we receive will go a long way to helping us shape our final plan and the action we take to create a cleaner and safer environment.”
The consultation is open and can be found on our website along with details of two open days and an evening event for residents to discuss our future plans for tackling poor air quality.