Greater Cambridge Air Quality Strategy Consultation
|Air Quality Strategy
|Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have come together to develop a joint draft Greater Cambridge Air Quality Strategy for improving air quality across their areas. Both Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are required to develop an air quality strategy under the Local Air Quality Management Regulations.
Air quality in the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire area, known as Greater Cambridge, has improved significantly in the last 20 years. However, it is now known there is no safe level of pollutants in the atmosphere where health effects do not occur. To continue improving the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors to Greater Cambridge we want to do more to reduce levels of pollutants in the atmosphere even further.
It is important that focus shifts from nationally set objectives towards reducing people’s exposure to air pollutants. The challenge is how to ensure pollutant levels can be further reduced when considering the scale of economic growth and population increase planned for Greater Cambridge in the next 10-20 years, and so continuing to improve air quality and deliver the health benefits this brings.
Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have intrinsically linked transport infrastructure with South Cambridgeshire wholly surrounding Cambridge City. Greater Cambridge is also a recognised geographical area with a shared planning services and an emerging local plan. Air pollution does not follow council boundaries.
Therefore, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have come together to develop a joint draft Greater Cambridge Air Quality Strategy [PDF, 0.6MB] for improving air quality across their areas. Both Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are required to develop an air quality strategy under the Local Air Quality Management Regulations.
The primary objectives of the strategy are to:
- Continue to meet and deliver all legislative and policy requirements associated with air quality
- Continue to improve air quality across Greater Cambridge, enhancing the health of those living in, working in, and visiting Greater Cambridge
- Work towards World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guideline* annual averages, in the longer term.
*WHO guidelines are stricter than those we are required to achieve under Local Air Quality Management Regulations.
The Strategy should be read in conjunction with the Appendix below which provides further detail.
It is acknowledged that not all sources of air pollution in the area originate from within Greater Cambridge. For some pollutants achieving these levels will require policy intervention not only locally but nationally and internationally.
The draft strategy focuses on sources that can be influenced locally by Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council or our partners. We have developed local interim targets for reducing air pollution within the lifetime of the strategy (five years) based on the interim targets set by WHO.
The draft Greater Cambridge Air Quality Strategy sets out the key priorities over the next five years for improving air quality across Greater Cambridge, where we feel we can have the greatest impact.
The key priorities areas outlined in the draft strategy are:
- Policy and Development Control
Through the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, seeking to minimise the impact of new developments on air quality.
- Infrastructure Improvements
Working with partners to ensure infrastructure is provided which enables the shift away from private motorised vehicles to alternative forms of transport.
- Community Engagement and Promotion
Raising awareness of air quality and providing information on how the public and businesses can make informed choices to protect their health and improve air quality for all.
- Continue to monitor air quality levels across Greater Cambridge.
An Action Plan is included within the draft strategy, which sets out the actions Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and our partners are planning to take forward in the next five years. The actions in the Action Plan aim to achieve the objectives of the strategy and ensure we meet the interim targets.
Together, the councils would like to hear your views on both the full strategy and the action plan which are available to view below. We would like you to take the time to read the draft strategy and action plan in order to fully engage with the consultation. The consultation is being hosted on the Cambridge City Council citizen lab consultation platform.
Following the consultation, we will collate the responses to allow us to revise the draft Strategy and Action Plan. A revised strategy and action plan will then be taken to the relevant committee to be adopted by each council.