Bradford steps up challenge to air pollution

Photo Credit - Bradford Council

Bradford is stepping up to the challenge of tackling poor air quality.

Along with 8 local authorities across the country, Bradford Council is working with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to develop a plan which assesses a range of interventions to outline the preferred option for achieving compliance with the EU limit value of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the shortest possible timeframe.

The Bradford Air Quality Plan (BAQP) is being developed in line with Ministerial Direction and an Outline Business Case will be submitted by 31st October 2019.

The plan outlines the case for change and includes the evidence base that the council has developed in assessing air quality and associated health impacts such as respiratory problems, heart attacks and strokes, low birth weight babies and premature deaths.

The council will use Clean Air Day on the 20 June to launch extensive stakeholder engagement to inform the development of the plan.  There will be public consultation which will help shape the preparation of the Final Business Case (FBC), due for submission in early 2020.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places said: “Investing now to improve air quality in Bradford will not only help to reduce environmental risks but will also aim to sustain a growing green economy which, nationally, is one of the fastest growing sectors. By developing the Bradford Air Quality Plan we want to improve health across the district and with minimum economic impact”

In addition, Bradford has its own ‘Bradford Low Emissions Strategy’ (Bradford LES) which was adopted in 2013.  Bradford was only the second Local Authority in the UK to adopt a LES and this is now viewed as an example of best practice in the UK for its actions to improve air quality. Bradford Council also led the production of the West Yorkshire Low Emission Strategy (2016-21) which has been adopted by all West Yorkshire Authorities.

The Council will be working in collaboration with partner agencies to make a difference including transport sectors, Born in Bradford and the NHS on health research projects and using their data to support on going work.

Currently poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the country each year, and is estimated to cost £6bn annually to the NHS and society.

Bradford Council’s Executive will look at the Air Quality Plan at its meeting on Tuesday, 11 June.

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