Kirklees tackles air pollution with a new West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy officer

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KIRKLEES Council in West Yorkshire has approved a new plan to reduce air pollution across the borough with various means up to March 2024.

The new plan includes recording effects of exhaust fumes to overall air quality and encouraging usage of electric vehicles with new infrastructure.

As part of the plan, air quality monitoring equipment will be used outside schools to gather evidence of the harmful effects waiting vehicles can have.

Resources will be created for schools to tackle this issue and the council will take advantage of any change in the law to use enforcement powers to address it.

The Council will also work with young people to understand their views on how to prevent air pollution and will support them to travel to school in the most sustainable and suitable way for them.

Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said: “We want children to have the best start in life and for all residents to be as well as possible for as long as possible. Clean air is a crucial part of this and is key to a healthy environment.

“We’re passionate about improving the environment and over recent years we’ve made some really positives changes and great steps forward but there is more we all need to do.

“Our strategy sets out what we as a council will do to make further progress but we all need to act if we are to have a major impact and I would like to encourage everyone to think about what you can do to improve the quality of air for the people who live, work and visit Kirklees.”

The government body will also look to improve the benefits of electric vehicle ownership for residents through parking incentives and improved infrastructure.

The new plan will see Kirklees install up to 17 rapid electric vehicle charge points as part of a larger West Yorkshire project.

The Kirklees Council will also continue our planning policy which requires all new build homes to have electric vehicle charge points installed.

This will soon be a national requirement but Kirklees was one of the first councils in the country to introduce it.

Kirklees will support large vehicle operators such as HGVs to record their emissions and work to reduce their contribution to air pollution as part of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s ECO Stars scheme.

The new action plan will also see Kirklees leading on the delivery of the West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy.

Funding from the Government has been secured to employ an officer, who works out of Kirklees, supporting the whole of West Yorkshire on this.

The Council will be working with the University of Huddersfield, companies based in the 3M Buckley Building and traffic management infrastructure suppliers to develop innovative traffic management technologies.

This will improve congestion and air quality across Kirklees.

The Air Quality Action Plan feeds into and supports the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan which aims to make the borough carbon neutral by 2038.