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Lower vehicle emissions and more electric car charging points – new Air Quality Strategy launched for our borough

29th November 2017

More low emission and alternative transport,  an anti-idling campaign to encourage drivers to turn off their engines at traffic lights and outside schools and additional electric vehicle charging points – all key aims of the new Air Quality Strategy for our borough, launched today. The strategy, which was approved at a meeting of the Council’s Executive last night (28th November) will introduce a raft of measures to improve air quality in our area, working with key local partners including Surrey County Council, bus companies and the University of Surrey.

Cllr Philip Brooker, Lead Councillor for Housing and Environment says: “I’m pleased to see our new Air Quality Strategy now in place. This draws together a number of measures to help improve air quality in our borough and make it a more pleasant place to live. Overall air quality in our borough is good, but we want to improve it for everyone and we are working closely with our partners on ways we can tackle this.”

Cllr Brooker adds: “Encouraging people to use more sustainable transport, like buses or trains, or joining a car share club is a great start. But we also need to encourage the use of electric cars and I’m pleased to say we are doing just that, with more electric car charging points coming soon.”

Existing or future projects include:
– developing a framework with partners to monitor roadside air quality in the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area
– lowering parking charges for electric car drivers
– reducing emissions from the Council’s own vehicle fleet
– working with local communities to promote sustainable transport and alternatives to car use, including taking part in the University of Surrey iSCAPE Living Lab project
– supporting local bus companies’ bids for DEFRA funding to increase the number of low and ultra-low emissions buses in our borough.

The new strategy was developed following a report presented by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November 2016. Following approval by the Council’s Executive in February 2017, an Air Quality  Monitoring Working Group was set up to implement their recommendations, including the development of the new Air Quality Strategy.

An Air Quality Management Area for a small area of Compton was also approved at the Executive meeting last night. A draft action plan to improve air quality in the area affected includes potential traffic solutions to reduce the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide. We will now consult with Surrey County Council, DEFRA, local residents, local councillors and Waverley Borough Council on these proposals.