Reducing the impact of pollution on health and the environment is at the heart of a draft strategy addressing air quality across North Yorkshire.
In North Yorkshire, the district and borough councils are responsible for monitoring air quality in towns, villages and across the countryside and the county council has a statutory duty to work with them where issues are identified.
A key area of the draft strategy is the role sustainable travel can play in improving our air quality.
Walking, cycling, or using low emission vehicles can all have a positive impact on reducing air pollution.
The county council is now seeking the public’s views on the county’s draft Air Quality Strategy, which aims to strengthen existing work and partnerships across the region. The public survey will run from February 14 to March 16.
The draft strategy - entitled Protecting North Yorkshire’s Air Quality 2020-2045 - has four key objectives:
- To raise the profile of improving air quality in the context of North Yorkshire
- Work in partnership with borough and district councils and other appropriate organisations to protect and, where appropriate, improve air quality
- Ensure that improving or maintaining good air quality is a key consideration when planning and delivering County Council services and;
- Support the use of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) in North Yorkshire
Many initiatives already form part of the work the council does every day, however, where possible the authority will look for external funding opportunities to deliver new measures that do not put extra pressure on existing finances.
The council aims to use its influence to reduce air pollution across North Yorkshire and the draft strategy aims to complement the wider climate change agenda.
Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for access, said: “This draft strategy provides an opportunity to set out the ways in which we will help to protect and improve outdoor air quality across North Yorkshire, for example, decreasing our reliance on cars by increasing use of public transport.
“By doing so, it is hoped the county will remain a special place for everyone to live, work and visit.”