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Electric vehicles and comms feature in East Herts strategy

East Hertfordshire district council in the south east of England has launched a 38-point plan aimed at tackling air pollution in the district.

Officially launched on National Clean Air Day last Thursday (15 June) the document outlines progress towards existing objectives and new measures to improve air quality across the borough, which includes the towns of Hertford, Sawbridgeworth and Bishop’s Stortford.

The 38 individual proposals come under four separate sub-headings, which includes participation in the National Clean Air Day, promoting the uptake of electic vehicles, supporting residents to reduce their contributions to air pollution and redesigning services to tackle air pollution.

Commenting on the proposals, East Herts’ executive member for the environment and public space Councillor Graham McAndrew said: “The council is committed to improving air quality throughout the district and this plan sets out various measures to help tackle pollution across East Herts.”

Electric vehicles

On promoting electric vehicles, proposals include using government grant money to deliver a pilot scheme for electric cars as well as delivering further charging points for electric vehicles in Sawbridgeworth and Ware.

The council has also pledged to develop a programme of potential projects in readiness for future national funding schemes for air quality. Exploring the use of more electric vehicles within the council’s own fleet also forms a part of the proposals.

On supporting residents to reduce their contributions to air pollution, planned actions include encouraging sustainable school travel options, improving the information on air quality available on the council’s website and to take air quality issues into consideration on future planning applications.

Under the redesign of services heading, measures include working with local bus operators to ensure that buses use the most recent, lowest-emission engines or to explore opportunities to retrofit vehicles where this is not possible.

The council will also investigate the potential for roadside signage to provide greater messaging around air quality issues and alerts when health may be at risk.

The council has pledged to monitor and review progress of the actions regularly, with the first review scheduled for later this year.

This article was first published on 19/06/17 and can be read here.