To mark Clean Air Day (Thursday 16 June), the UK's largest campaign on air pollution, we’re highlighting the work taking place across Brighton & Hove to improve air quality throughout the city.
Air Quality Action Plan
We’re currently updating our Air Quality Action plan and are running a consultation until 11 July to ask residents what they think of the plan, our priority areas, and what measures they could take to improve air quality.
Airborne pollution is a major contributor to 170 early deaths that occur each year in Brighton & Hove. It can be a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer and affects the most vulnerable in society: children, the elderly and those with existing heart and lung conditions.
In 2017, air pollution in the UK contributed to the deaths of up to 36,000 people and is estimated to have cost the NHS and local authorities £157 million.
Improving air quality in Brighton & Hove
Our school streets scheme has minimised the impact of the school run by reducing traffic emissions on main roads and around school gates. Brighton & Hove has an ultra-low emissions transport zone and is working with bus companies on low emissions public transport.
We created a new city centre park in Valley Gardens, planting more than a thousand square metres of wildflower meadow and 37,000 new plants. We’re also re-wilding a former golf course at Woodhall and planting thousands of trees to create a new woodland on Carden Hill.
We require developers to seek opportunities to improve air quality in locations where they are proposing new development through our local planning policy and have run an education campaign to highlight clean home heating and avoid emissions from open fires or stoves.
Local action to improve air quality is having a positive effect on the city. Earlier this year we were named as England’s third cleanest city in the ENDS Clean Cities Index 2022. The research is based on more than 30 environmental factors including air and water quality, climate, public realm, and sustainable behaviour. However, our statistics show that there is still more to be done to make Brighton & Hove a clean air city and prevent ill-health caused by air pollution.
A pathway to clean air
Councillor Mac Cafferty said: “We’re taking ambitious action in Brighton & Hove to tackle air pollution and battle climate change. The city’s Carbon Neutral 2030 programme will improve air quality by expanding our public Bikeshare scheme, making it easier to walk, upgrading the exhausts of 40 buses, purchasing 4 new electric refuse collection vehicles, developing a hydrogen fuel hub and rolling out e-cargo bikes.
“We’re doing all of this and more while we work with schools and businesses to spread awareness about the serious dangers of toxic air.
“We’re close to achieving the 2010 World Health Organisation guidelines for outdoor fine particulate pollution and doing everything we can to ensure clean, safe air, but we need strong national legislation to support our efforts.
“It’s crucial that we meet the World Health Organization’s recommended guidelines for air quality levels by 2030. Not only will this set us on a pathway to clean air across the UK, but it will also deliver significant improvements for public health, the economy, and the climate.”