Liberal Democrats and their Independent colleagues on Cornwall Council have set out a Clean Air Strategy for Cornwall for the next five years. The Strategy was approved at Cabinet today (14th December 2020) and will be recommended for approval at full council in January 2021.
Whilst air quality in Cornwall is predominantly very good, with the majority of Cornwall having clean unpolluted air, pockets of poor air quality persist in certain areas, caused by harmful levels nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas emissions, in the main due to high levels of vehicular traffic. The plan highlights a vision for a cleaner, greener Cornwall with more space for nature where no person in Cornwall will breathe unclean air.
The key points set out in the strategy are:
- The management of nine air quality management areas: Pool-Camborne-Redruth, Bodmin, Tideford, St Austell, Gunnislake, Truro, Camelford, Grampound and Launceston.
- Alternative transport networks including cycling and walking routes will continue to be developed.
- In addition to the existing 205 public electric charging points already installed across Cornwall, at least another 150 charge points are proposed to be installed over the next five years.
- Air quality improvement will contribute to Carbon Neutral Cornwall.
- Public awareness levels will be addressed regarding what activities can cause air quality problems, encouraging people to take action themselves to minimise air quality impacts.
Rob Nolan, Lib Dem Portfolio holder for Environment & Public Protection at Cornwall Council said:
“Clean air is essential for life, health, the environment and the economy. Poor air quality is harmful to health and the most vulnerable in our society are often the ones whose health is most at risk. Communities characterised by high levels of deprivation often experience higher than average pollution. Older people, children, pregnant women and individuals with existing medical conditions are also disproportionately affected.
“Air pollution can exacerbate asthma, affects lung function, increases hospital admissions and mortality. It’s been estimated there are over 200 people in Cornwall that die prematurely each year due to exposure to poor air quality. This plan ensures a vision for a cleaner, greener Cornwall with more space for nature where no person in Cornwall will breathe unclean air”.