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News release from: 24/01/2024

Greater Cambridge residents to have their say on new Air Quality Strategy

Greater Cambridge residents to have their say on new Air Quality Strategy

Greater Cambridge residents are being invited to help shape the new Air Quality Strategy which will seek to improve air quality in the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire area, to protect the health and wellbeing of residents.

The consultation is being carried out by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC). Both councils are working together to develop a joint Air Quality Strategy to maximise the impact of the strategy.

The strategy will allow both councils to develop an action plan to meet stricter air quality targets that were set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2021. It is recognised that there is no safe level of air pollution, which is why both councils are seeking to reduce levels of air pollution as much as possible.

Residents will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the proposals for the strategy and the action plan which will be used to develop the final version of the strategy.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Action and Environment for Cambridge City Council, said: “Air quality is something you can’t see but which impacts us all – which is why we are asking residents to respond to this consultation on our new strategy and air pollution targets.

“As more is discovered about the impacts of air pollution on humans, the more we understand about the far-reaching implications for both our physical and mental health.

“Reducing air pollution will help to protect all residents from things such as respiratory infection and chronic illnesses that can be damaging to health and quality of life, but it will have the most positive impacts on our most vulnerable residents such as young children, the elderly and those who have long-term conditions.

“While a lot of work has already gone into reducing air pollution and we have seen a real improvement in the city since 2004, we need to continue to work together to bring it down further to within the safer WHO targets.”

Cllr Henry Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are committed to promoting and protecting the air quality in the district as this is something which affects us all.

“In South Cambridgeshire, we are fortunate to generally experience good air quality, with both short and long-term pollution levels below the national objectives. However, each one of us has a role to play in improving the air we breathe across Greater Cambridge. Simple choices, such as opting for walking and cycling over driving, can contribute significantly.

“I encourage everyone to be mindful of their impact on air quality and take part in our consultation to create a cleaner and healthier environment for our community."

Greater Cambridge residents can complete the consultation on the Cambridge City Council resident engagement platform. The consultation will close on Monday 19 February.

The finalised strategy will be presented to Cambridge City Council’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in March 2024 and SCDC’s Climate and Environment Advisory Committee in April 2024.