Council asks residents to help shape the borough's plans to tackle air pollution

9 October 2017

Residents are being asked to share their views on how best to tackle air pollution in the borough and the impact it can have on people’s health.
While air quality in the borough is generally good, there are a small number of areas affected by nitrogen dioxide pollution. Today, Cheshire West and Chester Council has unveiled its proposed Low Emission Strategy to help tackle this and ensure that local air quality meets the required standards.
There are currently three Air Quality Management Areas in the borough where nitrogen dioxide exceedances have been detected - in Chester city centre, in the Whitby Road/Station Road area of Ellesmere Port and in a small area in Frodsham at the junction of Fluin Lane and the A56. 
Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore, said: “There is a much better understanding now of the impact that air pollution can have on people’s health – for many of us the effects are minimal but they can be greater for some of our most vulnerable residents such as children, the elderly and those with health conditions. 
“It’s vital therefore that we have a clear plan of how we will work to reduce pollution levels and ensure that our air meets the required levels over the coming years and we’d like to hear our residents’ views on the Strategy proposals.
“I would urge anyone who would like to help shape our Strategy, particularly those living within or close to a current Air Quality Management Area, to make sure they have their say through the consultation.”  A pollutant known as fine particulate matter, a complex mixture of tiny chemical particles that, once inhaled, can remain inside the lungs has been shown to have a detrimental effect on health.  
These tiny particles are produced predominantly by combustion processes and are found in exhaust fumes, particularly from diesel vehicles. 
Health experts now believe that they are the cause of many circulatory and respiratory illnesses and that they possibly even increase the risk of dementia, with long term exposure resulting in increased demands on the health service including greater hospital admissions.
Councillor Shore added: “While there is no location in the borough where the national air quality standards for fine particulates are exceeded, it is recognised that any reduction in fine particulate matter will result in an improvement in health for our residents.  
“Traffic is a major source of fine particulate pollution and the Low Emission Strategy targets traffic as well as other sources, such as solid fuel stoves and construction sites, to help improve air quality.” 
The Council is now consulting with the public and other interested parties on the content of the proposed Strategy. The consultation will run for just over 12 weeks and close on 12 January 2018.  
Residents and businesses, along with any other interested parties, are encouraged to get involved in the following ways: A number of meetings will also be arranged for residents and businesses to give their views, details will follow soon.

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