Tackling air pollution in Gloucestershire from vehicle emissions is set to be an important priority for Gloucestershire County Council after the report of the air pollution task group, chaired by Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (Lib Dem Kingsholm & Wotton), was yesterday approved by the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee.
According to Public Health England, poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, and the Royal College of Physicians has estimated that poor air quality is responsible for 40,000 premature deaths in the UK annually.
Exposure to air pollution can affect health by contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases, and can limit an individual’s quality of life.
After six months of research, the task group presented its findings to a committee for approval. Chaired by Cllr Jeremy Hilton, the task group highlighted a number of recommendations, including changes to planning policies, reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality monitoring.
Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: “Public bodies in Gloucestershire need to do much more to reduce vehicle air pollution. We have a number of poor air quality hot spots in the county. Nitrogen Dioxides and particulate matter from vehicle emissions is a hazard to everyone’s health in the county. We have to take action to reduce these pollutants.
Following approval at the scrutiny committee the report will now be presented to cabinet on Wednesday 6 June.