Tackling air quality in Elmbridge
We have five priorities in tackling air pollution in Elmbridge.
In November 2021, Elmbridge’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) was adopted. It signalled our commitment to a sustainable Elmbridge by tackling air pollution in the borough. Air pollution affects all of us, particularly vulnerable residents and those with heart and respiratory issues.
Our five priorities in tackling air pollution in Elmbridge up to 2026 are:
Reducing emissions from traffic
Traffic emissions are the main contributor to poor air quality in the borough. Reducing car journeys in favour of walking or cycling will most certainly help and we will work with our Highways Authority (Surrey County Council) to improve the Elmbridge cycling and walking infrastructure as a priority. More electric vehicles will also contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions and we are committed to the installation of more electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the borough.
Buildings and new development
Air quality policies will be embedded within the draft Local Plan and supplementary guidance documents to ensure new buildings are designed with air quality in mind, but we will also work with owners of existing buildings on improving air quality.
We currently monitor nitrogen dioxide levels within our six Air Quality Management Areas. Monitoring informs the actions we need to take. Particulates are highlighted as a significant pollutant going forward and funding has been secured to install an automatic monitoring station in the borough. An assessment of the best location has been undertaken, with the installation expected by March 2023.
We work with our partners in the Surrey Air Alliance to inform, persuade and encourage behaviour change in our borough to help residents and businesses make the best decisions for themselves and their community. We aim to do this through our communications campaigns and a continuing educational programme in schools. A recent campaign highlighted how wood burning stoves and garden bonfires can be a significant local source of particulate pollution, and what you can do to minimise this.
Lobby and partnership working
We will advocate on behalf of Elmbridge residents around the county and the country. We will continue to lobby for funding to support cycling and walking, electric vehicle infrastructure, as well pushing for stronger national policies to improve air quality.
Paul Leadbeater our Pollution Services Principal Officer, is the officer behind the Air Quality Action Plan:
“Improving air quality in Elmbridge is vitally important. Many people in our borough, are reliant on cars but we need to persuade them that there are the alternatives of walking, cycling and public transport. Our action plan shows that we are committed to a sustainable future for Elmbridge and will work with partner agencies to deliver that future.”
More information on Sustainable Elmbridge.