We may not always be able to see it, but air pollution is a real issue that is having serious, long-term effects on our health. Polluted air is bad for our lungs, but it doesn’t only cause respiratory problems, it can also result in heart problems and cancer too. Nationwide it is estimated that 40,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution – which is up to 2,000 in Nottingham.
Nottingham City Council wants citizens to be able to live healthier lives, and making sure we can breathe cleaner air is an important part of achieving this. The main source of nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities is the transport network, which is why the council is focusing many of its air quality initiatives around reducing transport emissions.
It’s important to look at the transport network as a whole, as no one measure will solve the problem. Our three fantastic local bus operators are investing in greener technologies and are upgrading their fleets to help improve air quality. Each of the city’s trams can carry up to 200 people, and there are 4,500 free park and ride spaces available to take cars off our busy roads. Our Go Ultra Low project is supporting citizens to make the change to electric cars, and supporting taxi drivers to find greener vehicles. Improvements to cycle lanes and crossings in the west of the city have seen a 13 per cent increase in journeys in the last year, and the Workplace Parking Levy has helped to bring down congestion.
But are we doing enough? We want people to tell us what they think about air quality in Nottingham – are we taking the right steps to address it? What else could we do to protect the health of people living and working in the city?
Now, we want to hear your views.