Elmbridge supports Clean Air Day
Thursday 16 June 2022
Following on from the adoption of Elmbridge’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), we are supporting national Clean Air Day (16 June 2022) and reminding residents and businesses of the work we undertake to tackle air pollution in the borough and to protect vulnerable residents and those with heart and respiratory issues particularly impacted.
Our five priorities in tackling air pollution in Elmbridge up to 2026 are:
- Reducing emissions from traffic
- Buildings and new development
- Raising awareness
- Lobby and partnership working
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 cycling and walking infrastructure in Elmbridge as a priority.
More electric vehicles will also contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions and the council is committed to the installation of more electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the borough. Most recently EV chargers were installed in the Hollyhedge Road car park in Cobham and more are planned for Drewitts Court car park, Walton on Thames, Churchfield Road car park, Weybridge, and the main Civic Centre car park in Esher throughout 2022-2023.
Additionally, Surrey County Council are asking residents to suggest locations they would like to see EV charge points installed, ready for the next phase of installations planned. Suggestions can be made via the Surrey EV chargepoint interactive map and will be used to inform the selection of locations for the wider roll-out across the county, ensuring there is a comprehensive network of charge points.
Buildings and new development
Air quality policies will be embedded within the draft Local Plan and the new Design Code for Elmbridge 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.
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.
Cllr Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Environmental Health:
“We all have a part to play in improving air quality in Elmbridge. From our side we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that walking and cycling infrastructure is a key priority in the borough.
“The draft Local Plan, which will open its Regulation 19 representation on Friday 17 June, has a sustainable and thriving Elmbridge at its heart. It sets out how we can connect communities through walking and cycling paths and also how we can build more energy efficient homes.
“I would also encourage vulnerable residents to sign up to our airAlert information service through our website. This service sends free messages directly to your phone to informing you about air pollution levels in area.”
Cllr David Young, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change:
“Improving air quality is also a key component of our Carbon Management and Reduction Plan: our ten-year action plan to reduce carbon emissions and reach our target to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. While this plan is focused on the council itself, we are working to help our whole community tackle climate change and improve air quality, for example through the installation of electric vehicle chargers in council car parks.
“Hollyhedge Road car park in Cobham had four fast 11-22kW electric vehicle (EV) charging points installed in September 2021, with further EV chargers being installed in our public car parks in Weybridge (Churchfields), Walton-on-Thames (Drewitts Court) and Esher (Civic Centre) over the course of this year.”
You may also be interested in how you can help clean air in Elmbridge.