Ensuring a sustainable environment
Taking action to tackle air quality
Oxford City Council, Southampton City Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Waltham Forest Council
Oxford City Council launched a new Charter for Cleaner Air, in full cooperation with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, to call on the Government to place the health of communities. This includes removing polluting vehicles from city and town centres, more funding for sustainable and public transport, an end to the sale of new petrol vehicles earlier than 2040, more funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, tighter legal limits on air pollution, a new Clean Air Act and an independent post-Brexit watchdog with real powers.
Launched in 2018, the Charter has so far been signed by Labour councils in Southampton and Brighton and Hove, showing that Labour administrations are leading the way in cleaning up our air.
Poor air quality is the biggest environmental health crisis in a generation, which is why Waltham Forest Council has spearheaded the pioneering ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest’ programme of highways and public realm interventions in order to reduce pollution levels. This successful programme of work has seen households exposed to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the borough go down from 60,000 to 6,000, with levels expected to fall by a further 15-25% by 2020. Research suggests residents in Waltham Forest will increase their life expectancy by 6-7 weeks as a direct result of these infrastructure changes.
In response to high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, Southampton City Council launched a Clean Air Strategy to tackle pollution that is largely caused by road traffic and was causing 110 premature deaths each year in the city. Every bus that operates in the city is being retrofitted with cleaner technology, and taxi drivers are being offered incentives to switch to cleaner vehicles. 48 electric charging points have been installed for public use. Electric vehicle drivers enjoy a 90% discount on parking permits. In addition to this, a ten year cycle strategy has been introduced, encouraging more residents to cycle. The council is working with the Port of Southampton to drive down pollution associated with shipping.