Air pollution and health
Burning fossil fuel for transport produces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Climate change is causing increasing damage to health. Burning fossil fuel also produces air pollution that is directly harmful to health. We must design our towns and our lives so that we aren't forced to rely on polluting private cars. See also our transport pages and Global Action Plan's National Clean Air Day website.
The government's bid to delay publications of the air quality plan until end of June - after the general election - has been rejected. The court has set a new deadline of 4pm on May 9th, after the local elections.
On Saturday 1 April 2017, environmental campaigners in Winchester launched a new initiative, BREATHE: for better air, transport, health and environment. Posters will be going up in windows “We back BREATHE” with a distinctive green thumbs-up sign.
WinACC welcomed the opportunity to comment on the proposed redrafted licensing policy for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles and sent a formal response.
The think tank ResPublica urges in its report Air Necessities: Place-based solutions to a pollution crisis that councils be given powers to levy charge
Winchester City Council held a public consultation on its draft Air Quality Action Plan for the city centre. WinACC replied that the actions set out in the plan probably won't be enough to keep air pollution within legal limits by 2020.
The latest European Environment Agency report indicates that air pollution is responsible for over 500,000 premature deaths [pdf, p9] in Europe every year. The problem is especially serious in cities. Emssions from burning fossil fuels for transport is a major cause.
Almost 300 adults voted in the Pollution Poll in Winchester High St on busy shopping Saturday 26 November 2016. This was the second time WinACC had asked people to say what they would like Winchester City Council to do about air pollution, and the results are very similar to last time.
Dr Vardoulakis, Environmental Change department, PHE Centre for Radiation, Chemical & Environmental, reports:
"More than five percent of deaths in England are attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution. This makes the impact of air pollution on the public’s health very significant indeed.
Our colleagues from Friends of the Earth (FoE) report as below:-
"We're only 6 days into 2017 and parts of the UK have just broken their air pollution limits for the entire year. More places are set to follow in the coming days. So let's make this the year that government finally takes air pollution seriously – and commits to get dirty diesel vehicles off our streets.