Air quality in the capital is a serious health issue. In 2010 alone, the deaths of nearly 400 Ealing residents were linked to air pollution. The new draft Air Quality Action Plan sets out how Ealing Council intends to cut pollution over the next five years and they want residents to have their say on their plans.
Councillor Julian Bell is the leader of Ealing Council and also chair of London Council’s Transport and Environment Committee. He is a keen cyclist, recently cycling 18,500 miles, which is the equivalent of cycling around the world.
He said: “Most people are aware of the damage caused by dirty diesel cars and trucks driving through our streets, and traffic is the main source of pollution in London. However, air quality is also affected by gas emissions from buildings and dust from new developments.
“Much of Ealing’s pollution comes from outside of the borough as people pass through. We have some of the capital’s busiest roads on our doorstep, so we face big air quality challenges.”
Despite this, the council has already carried out good work on the areas that it can control. It is encouraging more people to switch to greener transport and is putting in place local solutions to cut down on emissions in particular areas, like Horn Lane and Ealing Broadway. This work was recognised in 2016 when Ealing was awarded Cleaner Air Borough status by the Mayor of London. However, the council’s plans don’t stop there.
Councillor Bell continued: “Some of our proposed actions for cleaning up local air include tackling emissions from our own refuse trucks and mini buses, stronger enforcement for building sites to make sure they are meeting emission standards, and increasing car clubs in the borough. We also want to transform Ealing into a cycling borough and have formed the Ealing Cycling Commission, pulling together top cycling experts from the UK and abroad to help.”
The consultation has now been extended until Sunday, 21 May. The full draft plan is available on the council’s website. Residents are invited to read the plan and then give their feedback by completing a short questionnaire.