There’s an opportunity for people in Launceston to have their say on proposals to improve air quality in the town at a drop in exhibition in Launceston Town Hall on Wednesday 8 November from 3-7pm. The exhibition is part of a two month consultation on plans to declare an Air Quality Management Area in the town.
Councils are required to monitor air quality in their area against national targets and to declare areas with poor air quality as Air Quality Management Areas. Cornwall Council has been keeping an eye on Launceston’s levels of nitrogen dioxide, which comes from car and lorry exhaust, since 2016. This long term monitoring has confirmed that the Newport area of the town, particularly St Thomas Road and Newport Square, has excessive levels of traffic related nitrogen dioxide and by law an Air Quality Management Area must now be declared. This is an important first step in improving air quality as it ensures there is an action plan for the town and opens up funding opportunities for measures that could help to improve local air quality.
Before the Air Quality Management Area is officially declared residents can get involved by sharing their views on air quality in Launceston, the plans for the Air Quality Management Area, the proposed boundary of the Air Quality Management Area and any measures to improve air quality that they would like to see included in the action plan for the town.
Jade Farrington, Cornwall Councillor for Launceston South, said: “Lots of people have already been talking about how they think Launceston can improve its air quality levels. It's really important that they either come along to this event or send in their ideas so they can be considered and incorporated into the plan. Please don't leave it to someone else!”
Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Improving air quality is a key part of Cornwall Council’s priorities around making Cornwall greener and healthier. We’ve introduced a range of projects to help improve air quality across Cornwall, including promoting walking and cycling, improving public transport, and minimising emissions from bus and works vehicle fleets. However, we should all try to do our bit. It can be as simple leaving the car behind and walking on short journeys or turning off your car engine when waiting in traffic.”
As part of its Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy, Cornwall Council is also working to improve air quality by introducing car clubs, setting emission standards for taxis, requiring electric vehicle charging points in new build homes, working with employers and schools to develop travel plans, and promoting mixed use development in areas close to public transport and facilities.
The consultation period runs until 8 December. Anyone can attend the drop in exhibition on 8 November or share their views by completing an online survey, emailing the Council on firstname.lastname@example.org, posting their comments to the Council or handing them in at Launceston One Stop Shop in Bounsalls Lane.
After the consultation closes, all comments will be considered and the Launceston Air Quality Management Area will be officially designated. Then work will start on an action plan for Launceston, with local people having a further opportunity to share their ideas for air quality improvement measures at that stage.
There are eight other Air Quality Management Areas in Cornwall, which include Bodmin, Camborne-Pool-Redruth, Camelford, Grampound, Gunnislake, St Austell, Tideford and Truro.
More information and the online survey for Launceston are available on www.cornwall.gov.uk/airquality.