Norwich Cycling Campaign calls for more to be done about city air pollution
PUBLISHED: 13:07 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 26 September 2018
Cycling campaigners have called for more to be done to reduce air pollution in Norwich, saying the areas currently monitored do not provide a full picture of the dangers.
Norwich Cycling Campaign this week challenged the city council to come up with a plan to tackle air pollution from vehicles, saying all ages are at risk.
Richard Jennings, chairman of Norwich Cycling Campaign, said, “If we had the figures for the number of deaths and illnesses caused by vehicle pollution, people would be shocked.
“For example, it is estimated that 6pc of deaths in Norwich are caused by just one type of particulate pollution and there are 40,000 early deaths a year from air pollution across the country.
“We are not raising this just because of risks to cyclists, this affects everyone in Norwich and contrary to what most people think, pollution is worse for people sitting in cars.”
At a meeting of the city council this week, Margaret Todd, from the campaign asked City Hall leaders what they were doing to tackle air pollution.
Millions of pounds has been spent on changes around the city through the Transport for Norwich scheme and Ms Todd said the council should be congratulated for that. But she said more needed to be done.
She said: “One of the main actions for tackling air pollution in the Air Quality Action Plan 2015 was to reduce through vehicle traffic in the city centre.
“Westlegate has been closed to motor traffic, but the other, to remove traffic from Prince of Wales Road, after the NDR built, was abandoned last year.
“As far as we are aware, there are no significant proposals to improve air pollution in Norwich.” She said, although the city council monitored parts of Norwich, that was only within the inner ring road and urged the council to share all information it has on air pollution - including information accompanying planning applications.
Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe city environment, said monitoring showed air quality in Norwich was improving and cautioned against an assumption that pollution was solely down to traffic.
He said air quality would be the focus of a piece of work being done around a strategy review into the Transport for Norwich project.