Published on 15th November 2022
Air quality action plan consultation is open for comments until 8 December 2022
Cheltenham has released its air quality action plan as part of its borough-wide strategy for improving air quality.
One of the 14 key action points within the plan is the council’s commitment to expand the extensive monitoring locations around the borough. In addition to the extensive network of equipment, which monitors health damaging nitrogen dioxide levels, the council has installed new ‘state of the art’ monitoring equipment which will enable even more accurate monitoring of fine airborne particles known as PM2.5 and PM10. These are directly emitted from industry, vehicles or homes, but can also come from vehicle brake and tyre wear.
Further action points include working with Gloucestershire County Council as the local highways authority to help advance and tackle vehicle pollution, improving the availability of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, improving walking and cycling infrastructure for better connectivity, and increasing the availability of cleaner, greener transport options.
The consultation is open and will run until 8 December 2022 and residents and businesses are asked to give their views on all the new proposed measures in the draft air quality action plan.
Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: “The quality of the air we breathe matters to us all – particularly the most vulnerable such as children, the elderly or those living in poverty or with existing health conditions. Your views will help shape how we will make Cheltenham safer and cleaner and is another step towards making the air in Cheltenham as free from pollution as possible.’’
Further action points include: reviewing the borough’s smoke control zones, working with the Golden Valley Development to ensure a standard for high air quality in an urban development is achieved, exploring the adoption of a policy for licensed taxis and private hire vehicles that immediately removes the most polluting vehicles and achieves a net zero emissions fleet by 2030.
The final plan will take account of all feedback and will be reported to the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The draft air quality action plan and the latest annual status report can be found on the draft air quality action plan consultation webpage, haveyoursay.cheltenham.gov.uk/public-protection/draft-air-quality-action-plan/.
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This Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) has been produced as part of the council’s statutory duties required by the Local Air Quality Management framework. It outlines the action the council will take to improve air quality in the area covered by Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) between 2022 and 2027.
The full 14 action points can be found on page 8 of the draft plan, along with six actions specifically aimed at the area of worst air quality which has been formally declared an air quality management area.
The equipment used at monitoring locations include diffusion tubes and AQ mesh pods.
Image – single use only, Cllr Martin Horwood member for customer and regulatory services with Amy McArthur environmental health technical officer, Bernadette Reed, public and environmental health team leader at a Cheltenham air quality monitoring site.