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Consultation starts on air quality action plan

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A PUBLIC consultation exercise has started on an 18-point action plan to improve air quality in Warrington.
The four-week consultation – which will run until December 15 – will give people a chance to have a say and find out more information by visiting www.warrington.gov.uk and selecting the “consultations” page.
It was launched immediately the go-ahead was given by the borough council’s executive board.
Aim of the plan is to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels within the main, busy traffic routes leading into and around the town – and where possible to deliver wider improvements across Warrington.
Air quality poses the largest environmental risk to the public’s health. Poor air quality contributes to around 145 premature deaths each year in Warrington, and an estimated 50,000 nationally.
People most at risk include those who live near major roads, often in more deprived areas, older people and people with existing medical conditions. Pollution peaks can make these health conditions worse, lead to increased hospital admissions and negatively impact on people’s quality of life.
While the majority of Warrington has good air quality, there are areas close to major roads that slightly exceed the national limit for nitrogen dioxide.
The action plan aims to support the council’s work to protect arrington’s environment, enhance air quality and help improve the health of local people.
The council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Judith Guthrie (pictured) , said: “Poor air quality can have a huge impact on people’s lives, and that’s why this is such an important plan for Warrington. It’s part of our commitment to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, now and in the future.
“Cleaner air in Warrington will benefit us all, so I would urge everyone to get involved in this consultation, have your say, and help us shape our action plan. We would especially welcome the views of people who are most impacted by poor air quality, such as those who live near major roads and our more vulnerable residents.”
The 18-point plan includes some firm, immediate actions, such as an increased focus on sustainable transport, encouraging cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, new cycling and walking links, and an intelligent transport system. Other proposed actions are to explore the potential for feasibility studies, such as looking into the potential of Clean Air Zones and workplace charging levies.
The plan will run until 2022, and is expected to be a “live”, working document which will evolve over this time, through regular reviews.
In addition to the on-line questionnaire, paper copies are available is requested and the council will also be holding a public drop-in event at Orford Jubilee Hub on November 27, where the public can talk to members of the air quality team, get information and air their views.
At the end of the consultation, all comments received will be reviewed and if necessary the plan will be amended. Depending upon comments received, the finalised action plan is expected to be adopted by February.

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