Portsmouth Green Party questions city council's Air Quality "Strategy"

4 May 2017

The draft air quality strategy for Portsmouth that has been presented by the Conservative-led City Council falls very short of being a serious piece of work that proposes any measurable outcomes. The lack of credible sources, details of relevant law, references to contributors and consulted partners demonstrates a worrying lack of research.

The community of Portsmouth deserve to be given all the facts by which to understand the overall global issue as well as more specific local information that pertains to our local environment and the particular challenges we face.

The report is extremely brief and is not a serious and complete piece of work. It is very easy to compare this with other councils (such as Greater Manchester) and observe the completely different tone and presentation. It does not even contain any measurable, specific and time bound outcomes.

Portsmouth City Council’s document states that it is aspiring to improve air quality, but without providing any strategy as to how they plan to achieve this.  It doesn't even commit to work towards their very low target of meeting statutory obligations - only to 'strive to consistently work towards it'.  There should be details about how they intend to measure progress/performance/success, what their baseline figures are and what their benchmarks will be.

There is also a question as to some of the locations for air quality monitoring stations. They are unclear and unlikely to be measuring the worst-case scenarios in terms of air quality.  There were 13 and now there are only 5.  What about the dismissed 8?

The Index of deprivation and the line drawn for where pollution levels are currently monitored is poor and there is absolutely no specific monitoring of outcomes here.

There are no details

There are no clear and measurable targets

There is no strategy!

The Portsmouth Green Party calls for: -

  • The introduction of solar powered buses, following the Brighton example.
  • A public transport system that fulfils the needs of all the population.
  • A consistent, extensive and safe cycle network across the city.
  • An extension of the park & ride scheme to Fratton Park on match days.
  • The conservation of green spaces and the designation of ‘healthy’ walking routes for pedestrian
  • The introduction of a scheme where residents can request the installation of a charging point for electric cars on their street.
  • Clear air zones and locations of real monitoring
  • Enforcement of Road Vehicles Construction and Use Act and the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 to cut down on polluting and unnecessary engine idling.
  • A comprehensive review of the city’s green infrastructure and measures to ensure its protection and enhancement.
  • A revision of the associated Equality Impact Assessment document.

Download the full press release here.

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