Following a public consultation, the Public Protection Partnership has published its Air Quality Action Plan for Wokingham and Twyford.
The plan, outlines the action that both the partnership and Wokingham Borough Council will take to improve air quality in Wokingham and Twyford up to 2026.
The majority of Wokingham Borough has good air quality, but like most areas in the country, there are a few hot spots where it is above the recommended government guidelines.
Air pollution is closely associated with a number of adverse health issues and can be a contributing factor in many more, including heart disease and cancer. It can also impact those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions.
Clare Lawrence, assistant director – place based services at Wokingham Borough Council, said “The Environment Act 1995 requires local authorities to regularly review and assess air quality. If monitoring indicates that levels of nitrogen dioxide are at or near specified levels, a detailed assessment must take place.
“Monitoring identified two areas in the borough with slightly elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide: Wokingham Town Centre and Twyford Crossroads. We take our responsibilities very seriously and have declared two Air Quality Management Areas to ensure that we can monitor and improve the area.
“Larger quantities of nitrogen dioxide are more commonly found in areas where there is traffic congestion. Wokingham Borough’s road network has the unique problem of serving one of the highest car ownership ratios in the UK as well having major strategic routes – the A329M and M4.
Clare added: “The action plan sets out how the council will work towards reducing the levels of nitrogen dioxide within the two areas to improve public health and the wellbeing of borough residents.”
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service provided by Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, and West Berkshire District Council. The three key strategic priorities of the Public Protection Partnership are protecting and improving health, protection of the environment and supporting prosperity and economic growth.