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Air quality action plan for Warrington

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COUNCIL chiefs at Warrington will be asked tonight to approve a draft air quality action plan for the borough – despite the fact that most of the town has good air quality.
Road transport is the biggest contributor to air pollution in Warrington and areas where people live close to the busiest roads and motorways are likely to exceed the annual target for nitrogen dioxide.
Many of the sources of nitrogen dioxide are sources of particulate matter – and this is thought to be responsible for about 80 premature deaths a year – four per cent of deaths among Warrington people aged over 30.
A report be presented to the council’s executive board by Cllr Judith Guthrie (pictured), lead member for the environment on Monday notes that the government has produced a national action plan for nitrogen dioxides which identifies a number of areas where action is needed to meet achieve national targets.
Although Warrington has not been identified as such an area, the council still has a duty to produce a management plan – particularly as local evidence indicates that levels may not meet targets by 2019.
The draft action plan concentrates on five priorities:
*Reducing traffic volumes and flows
*Reducing emissions from heavy and light goods vehicles
*Reducing emissions from bus and public transport, including taxis
*Reducing exposure for those most vulnerable
*Ensuring that future development is designed to reduce exposure and to improve air quality.
The government has directed a number of authorities to implement Clean Air Zones and although Warrington is not one of these, Clean Air Zones are considered an effective tool to manage air quality and the draft plan makes provision for a feasibility study to see if they would be a viable option for the town.
Action is also proposed to see how Warrington can reduce exposure of vulnerable people – children and the elderly – to air pollution.
Most of the initial parts of the action plan can be delivered via existing policies, such as the Local Plan and the Local Transport Plan. But others remain unfunded, including the clean air zone feasibility study, exploring the option of a workplace parking levy and monitoring of fine particulates and each of these would cost about £50,000-£100,000.
Cllr Guthrie will ask the executive to approve the draft action plan, commence public consultation and note resource implications where funding has not been identified.

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1 Comment

  1. Where is the evidence in the article that Warrington has “good air quality”?

    I suppose it depends on the definition of good and the way that the wind is blowing from Widnes.

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