Mark Whitehead 16 June 2023

Oxfordshire unveils £200,000 air pollution plan

Oxfordshire unveils £200,000 air pollution plan  image
Image: Ginny Sturdy / Shutterstock.com.

Oxfordshire County Council has unveiled a £200,000 plan to cut air pollution which it says is the 'biggest environmental risk to public health'.

The air quality strategy will be overseen and delivered by a dedicated member of staff.

It follows controversial policies to reduce vehicle use including 'low traffic neighbourhoods' which have faced fierce local opposition.

Earlier this year thousands of people gathered in Oxford to protest against measures to cut congestion in the city.

Bollards and planters used to block streets in low traffic neighbourhoods were vandalised and set alight.

The new strategy will aim to cut vehicle use, build houses and schools away from major roads and provide energy efficiency advice and retrofit programmes.

The council said it hopes the project will encourage walking, cycling and shared and public transport use.

It estimates long-term exposure to air pollution to have contributed to 320 early deaths in Oxfordshire in 2021 and up to 38,000 deaths a year in England.

Public health member Michael O'Connor said: 'It's everyone's business and if we don't do anything about it then people will very concretely suffer.

'We must never forget that air pollution kills.'

If you found this story interesting, check out our feature, 'Cleaner air for those that need it most'.

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