You will appreciate that as the former Right to Ride Officer for Calderdale I have a particular interest in Air Quality issues.
I make no apology for continuing to bang on about this issue, given the damage that is being caused to public health by the failure of successive Governments to take action that would result in the current high levels of air pollution being reduced quickly and effectively. The principal cause of this pollution is road transport (cars, lorries and buses).
The principal reason for that failure is reluctance to take action that could be seen as “Anti Motorist” and therefore politically unacceptable.
The Government’s failure to act has been challenged successfully in the UK Courts by an activist Group called Client Earth, and as a result of this Central and Local Government are having to do something. Or, more accurately, look as if they are doing something in order to delay the next legal challenge.
Here in Calderdale the Council has recently published for consultation a Draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). The AQAP says that bold action is required by the Council to address the issue of poor levels of air quality in Calderdale, where there are already seven Air Quality Management Zones (no prizes for guessing where they are), some of which were identified 10 years ago. The situation described in the Plan represents a public health crisis, and bold action is certainly needed. The context is that over the past few years the action taken by the Council (the star turn being a bus layby at Salterhebble) has been anything but bold.
The actions proposed in the draft AQAP to address this dire situation are not bold, they are less than timid. I have therefore offered comments to this effect as part of the consultation, highlighting actions – including significant capital investment in walking and cycling infrastructure – that would have a more significant impact.
A link to the Consultation process (which ends on Monday 28 May) is here – https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/consultation-and-feedback/air-quality-consultation
For those interested in my comments, the link is here 180518responsetoAQAPconsultation
Thanks for reading this. The AQAP states the importance of public engagement with the Council in relation to policy decisions affecting travel. This consultation is an important part of that process. If you are minded to add to that discussion by responding yourself to the AQAP, this post will have served its purpose.