New air quality action plan set for council approval
Cutting the use of diesel engines and consulting whether the public want a daytime garden bonfire ban are among measures to tackle air pollution going before Croydon’s cabinet on Monday.
The council consulted local residents, businesses, health professionals and campaign groups on a draft air quality action plan for two months over the summer, receiving 599 responses.
Results from this consultation included 72% of respondents agreeing the council should consult on extending its smoke-free zone across the borough, plus 84% wanting more enforcement action against drivers who leave their parked cars running.
Proposals going before Monday’s meeting include:
- A future consultation asking the public if they want a garden bonfire ban from 6am to sunset
- Upgrading the council’s fleet to reduce the use of diesel vehicles
- Encouraging private hire drivers to go diesel-free by 2025
- Getting construction sites to use cleaner hybrid generators rather than diesel ones
- Installing greener boilers in council-owned buildings
- Recruiting volunteers to promote cleaner local air quality, including at hotspots
- Green screens outside new schools on busy roads
- Continuing the Clean Air 4 Schools project with five schools a year
Most of the proposed measures will come from council budgets, although Croydon will submit some external funding bids including to Transport for London, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Growth Zone, and the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund.
The 2017-2022 Air Quality Action Plan follows the 2012-17 plan, which introduced measures including a Zip Car vehicle sharing club that now has over 1,600 local members, signs outside schools reminding parents to switch off their engines while they wait, the installation of 47 electric vehicle charging points and developing a town centre construction logistics plan.
Air pollution is associated with a number of health conditions, including the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable – children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.
“Air pollution affects the health and well-being of everyone in Croydon, especially the vulnerable, so this plan sets out what the council is doing about it over the next five years.
“Improving the capital’s air quality is a huge challenge, so here in Croydon we’re tackling it in a range of ways from cutting diesel fumes to extending the smoke control zone to cover the entire borough.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment
If the council’s cabinet approves the proposals, they will be subject to an eight-week statutory consultation with the Mayor of London, the Secretary of State and Transport for London. For more information about the plan, visit the council website.