Wiltshire Publications

Wiltshire Council urged to combat air pollution

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at 11:07 am.

A LOCAL campaigner has urged Wiltshire Council to fight to be included in the next stages of the Government’s clean air strategy to help combat air pollution.

Earlier this year, the Government launched a £220million Clean Air Fund  to support the ‘UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentration.’ More than £40million from the £255million fund was awarded directly to local authorities with the worst levels of air pollution to help them take action as soon as possible to improve air quality. 

However, Wiltshire Council, due to its rural nature, was not included.

Campaigner Brian Warwick said, “We need to ensure that because of the extra traffic along the M4 corridor and the A350 to southern ports, we have a strong case to be included in the next stages of the national clean air strategies.

“I am deeply concerned at the deterioration in air quality, particularly along the A350 and the increases in reported asthma sufferers. I have taken the liberty of discussing it with a local GP , who also has expressed concerns in the increases of asthma and allied conditions.

“At risk are particularly people with diabetes, lung disease (such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, lung cancer) or heart disease (such as angina, a history of heart attacks, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat) are more sensitive to air pollution.

“Seniors are at even higher risk because of weakening of the heart, lungs and immune system and increased likelihood of health problems such as heart and lung disease.

“Our children are also becoming far more vulnerable to air pollution; they have less-developed respiratory and defence systems. Children, as we are aware, also spend more time outdoors being physically active, which can increase their exposure to air pollution.

“I do not believe sufficient effort is presently being made in achieving an early solution to resolving these concerns, especially by our planners, highways or even public health. There is a growing tendency to keep putting off decisions that have financial implications, however in the case of the desirability to improve the air quality, even the Department of Environment has this year announced additional funding. 

“The Clean Air Act of 1956 achieved remarkable success in reducing air pollution, we now need to take even tougher measures.”

Wiltshire Council was approached for comment, but had not responded by the time the paper went to print.

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