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New Air Quality Action Plan

Published Monday 11 September, 2023
Last updated on Monday 11 September, 2023

Swale Borough Council has published an action plan setting out how it will work to improve air quality across the borough.

The new Air Quality Action Plan outlines what the council will deliver between 2023 and 2028 to reduce concentrations of air pollutants and people’s exposure to air pollution.

The council takes the issue of air pollution very seriously as it causes health issues such as being a factor in the onset of cancer and heart disease.

The plan will have a positive impact on the quality of life and the health of residents and visitors to Swale.

Some new measures include:

  • More car clubs and bike hire schemes
  • Installation of more electric vehicle charging points
  • Anti-idling campaigns
  • Campaigns to educate the public about air pollution
  • Improving walking and cycling infrastructure

The council will also work with Kent County Council to improve bus services and public transport infrastructure and improve traffic flow through Swale’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).

Air Quality Management Areas in East Street and Teynham have seen marked improvements in air quality, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recommending their AQMA statuses be revoked.

East Street and Teynham have been compliant with the minimum readings for air pollutants for four and five years respectively but will continue to be monitored closely when their AQMA statuses are revoked.

The Action Plan offers a look into the evidence used and explains the decision-making process behind measures being implemented within their powers.

Cllr Rich Lehmann, chair of the Environment Committee, said:

“The health of our residents is of utmost importance to us,

“And this Air Quality Action Plan outlines the efforts we are going to take to improve the air quality of Swale.

“We are pleased to see some improvements but will remain vigilant and continue to monitor air pollution levels across the borough, including the areas which DEFRA have insisted we revoke the Air Quality Management Area status for.

“There is still work to be done, and this action plan shows how we will reach our important health targets.”

Read the Council’s Air Quality Action Plan here: swale.gov.uk/aqap

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