Consultation on the draft of the Air Quality Action Plan 2022-2027 (public consultation period: 1st December 2021- 22nd February 2022)

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Action Plan (AQAP) is central to the Council’s commitment to improve air quality in the Borough and across London.


We are currently updating and enhancing our Action Plan, proposing new measures to improve air quality in the Borough and we need your input.

The measures and actions outlined in the draft Air Quality Action Plan will also help us achieve the Air Quality Objectives defined by the Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Recent studies have shown that around 9,000 people in London die from the effects of poor air quality each year.


There is a strong body of evidence which shows that short term exposure to high levels of air pollution has a range of adverse health effects. These can range from exacerbation of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic respiratory disease, through to increases in emergency admissions to hospital.


Poor air quality disproportionately affects the health outcomes of the young, the elderly, the ill and the poor.


  • Air pollution can be a contributing factor to serious health problems like heart disease and cancer.
  • It often affects the most vulnerable in our society; children, older people and those with heart and lung conditions.
  • There is a strong correlation between air pollution and poverty: areas with poor air quality are often the less affluent areas.

Impacts of air pollution


Air Pollution is a big issue in Tower Hamlets, where in 2016 around 80% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable air quality. In 2016, 55 out of 70 primary schools and 19 out of 22 secondary schools were located in areas of pollution exceed the legal limits. This means that about 80% of our schools are in areas of unacceptable air quality.


Studies, including one carried out in Tower Hamlets, have shown that children living in highly polluted areas are much more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood, as the pollution affects the developing lungs. Young children who live in polluted areas also have more coughs and wheezes. Improving air quality for children has been shown to halt and reverse this effect.


Where does the pollution come from?


The main source of pollution in Tower Hamlets is form road vehicle emissions. The rest of the emissions originate from construction machinery, river traffic and aviation.


What we are doing


We would like to hear from you on how we can better tackle this issue from a local authority level.


We are consulting on our Air Quality Action Plan which outlines the actions that Tower Hamlets will aim to deliver between 2022-2027 in order to reduce concentrations of pollution, and exposure to pollution; thereby positively impacting on the health and quality of life of residents and visitors to the borough. The Action Plan will be a live document that will be added to as new actions are identified.


Our priorities are:

  • Enforcing the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) Low Emission Zone
  • Promoting and enforcing smoke control zones
  • Promoting and delivering energy efficiency retrofitting projects in workplaces and homes
  • Supporting alerts services such as Airtext
  • Reducing pollution in and around schools, and extending school audits to other schools in polluted areas
  • Installing Ultra Low emission Vehicle (ULEV) infrastructure
  • Improving walking and cycling infrastructure
  • Promoting regular Car Free days/temporary road closures in high footfall areas
  • Reducing emissions from council fleets
  • Implement campaigns to raise air quality awareness
  • Enforcing unnecessary idling

The actions in the plan are split into 7 broad topics:


Theme

Why

Examples of what we plan to do

Monitoring and other core statutory duties


Monitor the pollution across the borough and report on concentrations and actions taken.

Maintaining monitoring networks is absolutely critical for understanding where pollution is most acute, and what measures are effective to reduce pollution. There are also a number of other very important statutory duties undertaken by boroughs, which form the basis of action to improve pollution.

Emissions from developments and buildings



Emissions from buildings account for about 15% of the NOX emissions across London so are important in affecting NO2 concentrations.

Use the planning system to ensure new developments do not adversely impact the air quality in the borough. Energy efficiency retrofitting projects to reduce emissions from existing estates/buildings.

Public health and awareness raising


Increasing awareness can drive behavioural change to lower emissions as well as to reduce exposure to air pollution.

Engage with schools including installing anti-idling signage, citizen science projects, air quality communications campaigns and promoting air quality alerts.

Delivery servicing and freight



Vehicles delivering goods and services are usually light and heavy-duty diesel-fueled vehicles with high primary NO2 emissions.

Use the procurement process to encourage sustainable logistics for deliveries. Review freight consolidation of deliveries.

Borough fleet



Our fleet includes light and heavy-duty diesel-fuelled vehicles such as minibuses and refuse collection vehicles with high primary NO2 emissions. Tackling our own fleet means we will be leading by example.

Upgrade the council fleet to Euro 6 vehicles and electric vehicles. Ensure our contractors (e.g waste collection) use as cleaner vehicles as possible.

Localised solutions



These seek to improve the environment of neighbourhoods through a combination of measures.

Local projects include the Zero Emissions Network business engagement. The Low Emissions Neighbourhood and installing green infrastructure.

Cleaner transport



Road transport is the main source of air pollution in London. We need to incentivise a change to walking, cycling and ultra-low emission vehicles (such as electric) as far as possible.

Encourage low emissions travel by installing public electric vehicle charge points, re-banding parking fees to account for pollution emissions, providing infrastructure for walking and cycling.



Why are we consulting you?


We need your input on the proposed action plan which will set out the commitments and actions of the Council to improve air quality over the next five years, from 2022 to 2027.


The action plan considers measures and actions in terms of costs, effectiveness, time-scales and feasibility of implementation.


We cannot guarantee that we will be able to do everything that you want us to do immediately.

However, we will do all we can to ensure that we listen to your priorities.


The Air Quality Action Plan 2022-2027 is available to view on the upper right side.


Please take time to fill out our short questionnaire. Resident’s views are important to us in shaping our priorities to tackle pollution.

Action Plan (AQAP) is central to the Council’s commitment to improve air quality in the Borough and across London.


We are currently updating and enhancing our Action Plan, proposing new measures to improve air quality in the Borough and we need your input.

The measures and actions outlined in the draft Air Quality Action Plan will also help us achieve the Air Quality Objectives defined by the Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Recent studies have shown that around 9,000 people in London die from the effects of poor air quality each year.


There is a strong body of evidence which shows that short term exposure to high levels of air pollution has a range of adverse health effects. These can range from exacerbation of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic respiratory disease, through to increases in emergency admissions to hospital.


Poor air quality disproportionately affects the health outcomes of the young, the elderly, the ill and the poor.


  • Air pollution can be a contributing factor to serious health problems like heart disease and cancer.
  • It often affects the most vulnerable in our society; children, older people and those with heart and lung conditions.
  • There is a strong correlation between air pollution and poverty: areas with poor air quality are often the less affluent areas.

Impacts of air pollution


Air Pollution is a big issue in Tower Hamlets, where in 2016 around 80% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable air quality. In 2016, 55 out of 70 primary schools and 19 out of 22 secondary schools were located in areas of pollution exceed the legal limits. This means that about 80% of our schools are in areas of unacceptable air quality.


Studies, including one carried out in Tower Hamlets, have shown that children living in highly polluted areas are much more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood, as the pollution affects the developing lungs. Young children who live in polluted areas also have more coughs and wheezes. Improving air quality for children has been shown to halt and reverse this effect.


Where does the pollution come from?


The main source of pollution in Tower Hamlets is form road vehicle emissions. The rest of the emissions originate from construction machinery, river traffic and aviation.


What we are doing


We would like to hear from you on how we can better tackle this issue from a local authority level.


We are consulting on our Air Quality Action Plan which outlines the actions that Tower Hamlets will aim to deliver between 2022-2027 in order to reduce concentrations of pollution, and exposure to pollution; thereby positively impacting on the health and quality of life of residents and visitors to the borough. The Action Plan will be a live document that will be added to as new actions are identified.


Our priorities are:

  • Enforcing the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) Low Emission Zone
  • Promoting and enforcing smoke control zones
  • Promoting and delivering energy efficiency retrofitting projects in workplaces and homes
  • Supporting alerts services such as Airtext
  • Reducing pollution in and around schools, and extending school audits to other schools in polluted areas
  • Installing Ultra Low emission Vehicle (ULEV) infrastructure
  • Improving walking and cycling infrastructure
  • Promoting regular Car Free days/temporary road closures in high footfall areas
  • Reducing emissions from council fleets
  • Implement campaigns to raise air quality awareness
  • Enforcing unnecessary idling

The actions in the plan are split into 7 broad topics:


Theme

Why

Examples of what we plan to do

Monitoring and other core statutory duties


Monitor the pollution across the borough and report on concentrations and actions taken.

Maintaining monitoring networks is absolutely critical for understanding where pollution is most acute, and what measures are effective to reduce pollution. There are also a number of other very important statutory duties undertaken by boroughs, which form the basis of action to improve pollution.

Emissions from developments and buildings



Emissions from buildings account for about 15% of the NOX emissions across London so are important in affecting NO2 concentrations.

Use the planning system to ensure new developments do not adversely impact the air quality in the borough. Energy efficiency retrofitting projects to reduce emissions from existing estates/buildings.

Public health and awareness raising


Increasing awareness can drive behavioural change to lower emissions as well as to reduce exposure to air pollution.

Engage with schools including installing anti-idling signage, citizen science projects, air quality communications campaigns and promoting air quality alerts.

Delivery servicing and freight



Vehicles delivering goods and services are usually light and heavy-duty diesel-fueled vehicles with high primary NO2 emissions.

Use the procurement process to encourage sustainable logistics for deliveries. Review freight consolidation of deliveries.

Borough fleet



Our fleet includes light and heavy-duty diesel-fuelled vehicles such as minibuses and refuse collection vehicles with high primary NO2 emissions. Tackling our own fleet means we will be leading by example.

Upgrade the council fleet to Euro 6 vehicles and electric vehicles. Ensure our contractors (e.g waste collection) use as cleaner vehicles as possible.

Localised solutions



These seek to improve the environment of neighbourhoods through a combination of measures.

Local projects include the Zero Emissions Network business engagement. The Low Emissions Neighbourhood and installing green infrastructure.

Cleaner transport



Road transport is the main source of air pollution in London. We need to incentivise a change to walking, cycling and ultra-low emission vehicles (such as electric) as far as possible.

Encourage low emissions travel by installing public electric vehicle charge points, re-banding parking fees to account for pollution emissions, providing infrastructure for walking and cycling.



Why are we consulting you?


We need your input on the proposed action plan which will set out the commitments and actions of the Council to improve air quality over the next five years, from 2022 to 2027.


The action plan considers measures and actions in terms of costs, effectiveness, time-scales and feasibility of implementation.


We cannot guarantee that we will be able to do everything that you want us to do immediately.

However, we will do all we can to ensure that we listen to your priorities.


The Air Quality Action Plan 2022-2027 is available to view on the upper right side.


Please take time to fill out our short questionnaire. Resident’s views are important to us in shaping our priorities to tackle pollution.

Page last updated: 14 January 2022, 10:38