Air quality action plan out to consultation


Public consultation on the city council’s comprehensive draft air quality action plan is underway.

It runs until Friday 22 June and all the information can be found on the council’s website.

The draft action plan covers five broad themes – public health, transport, planning and infrastructure, awareness and education and the council’s strategic approach. Each theme sets out a number of proposals and timescales.

They include district-wide anti-idling enforcement powers, to be enforced at coach parks, on-street parking bays, taxi ranks and level crossings, an investigation into the feasibility of running park and ride buses to and from railway stations, plans to create a host of new cycle routes, including Bridge to Canterbury and Hersden to Sturry, and to work with Network Rail to minimise delays at level crossings.

Council Leader Cllr Simon Cook said: “This is one of our most important consultations for many years. Air quality is a complicated issue to resolve and we really want to hear people’s solutions. No suggestion is a bad one and when we ask the public, they usually come up with the goods, often with ideas we would never have thought of.

“But there is no one answer to this problem. It needs everybody working together, from the council and other authorities, to individuals thinking about the choices they make. Together we can make a positive impact.”

Also out for consultation is the council’s draft Green Infrastructure Strategy.

Green infrastructure is made up of the network of green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities. In rural areas this can include fields, woodlands, hedgerows, country parks, rivers and lakes, while in urban areas it can include domestic gardens, street trees, sports pitches, civic spaces, green roofs and walls.

The draft strategy complements the council’s Local Plan and national planning policies, as well as the draft air quality action plan. It identifies a network of green infrastructure sites along with an assessment of the issues they face and any opportunities and actions for the future.