Air Quality Study To Start in Putney High Street

Council secures £114,000 air quality grant from DEFRA

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Following the council's success in securing a £114,000 air quality grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) the council is to install a new network of electric vehicle charging points at car parks around the borough. The award is the highest for any local authority in the UK.

In Putney High Street a year-long study will measure emissions from traffic including detailed analysis of nitrogen dioxide levels. In addition air quality officers will also launch a campaign to encourage parents taking their children to school by car to switch off their car engines.

Executive member for the environment Malcolm Grimston said the funding would help the council move forward on its air quality action plan for the borough:

"This is a record sum of money for air quality work. We have drawn up a practical programme of measures that will help us to reduce emissions. It's not something the council can do by itself. We will be working to make people more aware of the health impacts from air pollution. Whether it's driving less, driving a different type of care or simply avoiding leaving the engine running, we can all do our bit."

All local authorities are expected to work towards EU limit levels for a range of pollutants which can have a damaging impact on health. The council's air quality action plan sets out how the council is working towards these targets. The EU air quality directive on nitrogen dioxide requires member states to have plans for reducing exposure in urban areas by 2010.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report identifies air pollution associated with asthma and allergies in children and rates of infection in smaller children. A more recent WHO study identifies nitrogen dioxide as contributing to increased reports of respiratory symptoms.

September 26, 2008