Air pollution is associated with a number of adverse health impacts. It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions. There is also often a strong correlation with equality issues, because areas with poor air quality are also often the less affluent areas. The annual health cost to society of the impacts of particulate matter alone in the UK is estimated to be around £16 billion.
Air quality in Exeter is affected by a small number of hot spots where levels of nitrogen dioxide are above government objectives. These are along the Heavitree corridor (at Livery Dole junction, Fore Street Heavitree, East Wonford Hill and Honiton Road), Alphington Street and the Blackboy Road/Pinhoe Road junction. All these are included within Exeter’s Air Quality Management Area, an area where the Council will bring forward and facilitate actions to improve air quality. In the majority of the city, outside these areas, pollution levels are below the government objectives.
Exeter is exploring ways that it can improve air quality in the city. We have a legal responsibility, but also a political desire to do more.
Imagining the Future of Exeter
Through our engagement activities with the diverse business and local communities of Exeter and by analysing best practices of other cities across the globe we have identified a set of features that Exeter will need to demonstrate in order to meet this Goal.
- All public sector fleet vehicles in Exeter are ULEV / non-fossil fuel
- Exeter’s bus network comprises only Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) Buses and uses non-fossil fuels
- Exeter has a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging points (including on-street) which supports transition to electric vehicles
- Exeter has achieved the World Health Organisation (WHO) targets for air quality at all locations across the City
- Exeter’s taxi fleet and private hire fleet are in the ULEV category / non-fossil fuel
- All private cars in Exeter are in the ULEV category
- Health outcomes are embedded in all key city policies to assess current and future wellbeing
- The city centre is free from pollution reflecting increased usage of public transport and other modes of transport
- Exeter has a comprehensive network of sensors that measure air quality down to pm2.5
- Exeter has implemented an education programme/awareness campaign about air quality within homes