Liberal Democrats have today secured support from members of the Council's Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee to create a cross-party working group to look at ways of reducing air pollution in Gloucestershire following publication of an independent report into air pollution levels outside county schools.
Member of the Environment Committee, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (LD: Kingsholm and Wotton) who proposed the formation of the task group said:
"Back in January 2016, the Liberal Democrats collated information from Air Quality Progress revealing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeding national air quality objectives and European Directive limits for the protection of human health in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Lydney and along the A417 in the Cotswolds. It was shocking to find that even though the annual mean of NO2 should not be measured greater than 40 μg/m3 over 30 testing sites across the county actually exceeded this limit.
"We were pleased that in February 2016, the County Council budget was set for 2016/17, which included the Liberal Democrats amendment of £50,000 to carry out an independent study of air quality specifically outside schools.
"We commend the work of those officers who have put together this comprehensive and interesting report. It acts as a real 'blue-print' for future action. The results clearly show that the main contributing factor to peaks in NO2 concentration is the high volume of school traffic including buses, cars, and 4 x 4s, all driving and idling their engines directly outside of the schools.
"The time is now to tackle county's air pollution. I hope with the support now given to create a task group we can move forward in finding solutions to how best we can tackle air pollution. Clean air is vital for people's health and well-being, and also essential for making sure the County of Gloucestershire is a welcoming place for people to live and work now and in the future."
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