Tackling air pollution in Kirklees
We have produced an innovative plan to reduce air pollution across the borough – supporting our ambitious vision to tackle climate change.
A new action plan
On 12 November Cabinet will be presented with an action plan which outlines what will be done to improve air quality in Kirklees up to March 2024.
What impact does air pollution have?
Air pollution is associated with a number of serious health impacts – it is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. It particularly affects the most vulnerable in society such as children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.
The Kirklees Air Quality Action Plan aims to address this. If approved by Cabinet, it will replace the previous plan which ran from May 2007 to August 2019.
What is the new plan?
The new plan will see Kirklees install up to 17 rapid electric vehicle charge points as part of a larger West Yorkshire project. Kirklees will also continue its planning policy which requires all new build homes to have electric vehicle charge points installed. This will soon be a national requirement but Kirklees was one of the first councils in the country to introduce it.
New air quality monitoring equipment will be used outside schools to gather evidence of the harmful effects waiting vehicles can have. We will work with and listen to young people to understand their views on how to prevent air pollution and the climate emergency. They will also be supported to travel to school in the most sustainable and suitable way possible for them. Resources will be created for schools to tackle this problem and we will take advantage of any change in the law to use enforcement powers to address it.
What is the EcoStars fleet recognition scheme?
The EcoStars fleet recognition scheme in Kirklees works with large vehicle operators such as HGVs to record their emissions and work to reduce their contribution to air pollution. This is a West Yorkshire Combined Authority scheme which we lead on.
Leading on the delivery of the West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy
The new action plan would also see Kirklees leading on the delivery of the West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy. Funding from the Government has been secured to employ an officer, who works out of Kirklees, supporting the whole of West Yorkshire on this.
Innovative traffic management technologies
We will be working with the University of Huddersfield, companies based in the 3M Buckley Building and traffic management infrastructure suppliers to develop innovative traffic management technologies. This will improve congestion and air quality across Kirklees.
Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said:
“Clean air is one of the most basic requirements of a healthy environment. We have made great improvements in recent years in tackling air pollution in Kirklees but there is much more that we need to do – as a council, with our partners and as individuals. This strategy sets out how we can do this together.
It is our vision to ensure that children have the best start in life and that our residents are as well as possible for as long as possible. Crucial to this is creating a clean and green environment.
We declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year and are due to present an action plan on this in November 2019. Our Air Quality Action Plan feeds into this and supports it. Action to reduce carbon use will also reduce emissions of other air pollution and improve local air quality.
We are passionate about improving air quality for the people who live, work and visit Kirklees. This strategy demonstrates our commitment to improving it and will outline the specific areas where we can all affect change for the benefit of Kirklees.”
Can I read the Kirklees Air Quality Action Plan?
Read the Kirklees Air Quality Action Plan in full here.