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Source: City of Southampton

Compared to similar periods in 2019, average NO2 levels across the city reduced by 12%. Total road traffic fell by up to 55% during the same period, the correlation between air pollution and road emissions has been widely promoted. A key theme in the council’s Green City Plan is to deliver clean air, linking in with the existing Clean Air Strategy the priority is to reduce road-based emissions. Road traffic emissions are the most significant contributor to poor air quality in Southampton.

The council instructed an independent, third party to review data received from four automatic monitoring stations. The analysis has shown that weather conditions have a significant impact on pollutant concentrations over the short term and despite general trends this explains some of the occasional peaks in pollutant levels experienced. The Green City Plan details over 60 actions that the council will deliver over the next three years that will work towards, goals including being a carbon neutral council by 2030, increasing green spaces and minimising waste, the council vision is to create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable city.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City & Place, added: “The air pollution improvements highlighted in this report illustrate that our Green City Charter goal of achieving levels of NO2 as low as 25 micrograms is possible, if we can continue to reduce transport emissions.”

“Our Green City Plan clearly defines how we will continue to tackle air pollution. Delivering clean air is essential for the health of present and future generations. We will continue to take action that will improve the quality of life in our city. We are working with residents, key stakeholders, businesses and community groups across Southampton to reduce the impact we all have on our environment. The recent reduction in road emissions and associated improvements in air pollution has shown that we can all do our bit to help everyone in Southampton benefit from cleaner air.”

“We all know that we have to act now to lessen human involvement in climate change. Reducing the impact vehicles have on our roads by switching some journeys to sustainable alternatives is a simple and effective way to make a difference. We encourage everyone to review active travel options in Southampton, we have a growing cycle network across the city, excellent public transport and we incentivise switching to electric vehicles.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom