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Southampton launches clean air network

Southampton City Council has joined forces with local charity, the Environment Centre, to launch a new network to tackle air pollution.

The clean air network aims to encourage local residents to look at the changes they could make to reduce pollution levels in the city on the south coast.

Local groups and individuals are being encouraged to join the network and commit to reducing emissions where possible.

All members will receive a clean air membership card with discounts on a range of items, including cycling services and electric mopeds.

The council has already set up a voluntary clean air zone in Southampton and is looking at setting up a chargeable one by 2020.

‘The time for pointing fingers at everyone else is gone,’ said cabinet member for sustainable living, Cllr Christopher Hammond.

‘We can’t keep blaming one group of people or business over any other,’ he added.

‘Just because we don’t personally drive a big lorry through the city, doesn’t mean we have no responsibility – we all buy goods that come off of those lorries every day.

‘Research shows, we all contribute to the issue of air quality in Southampton and are all responsible for finding a solution by changing our attitudes and behaviours,’ added Cllr Hammond.

Electric vehicles

Last week, the council also introduced its first electric vehicles into its fleet for staff to use.

According to the council, the six Nissan E-NV200 vans will cost 97% less to ‘fuel’.

The council will also be installing eight new charging points for the fleet vehicles and the council will be introducing 30 on-street charging points for public use in its car parks across the city by the end of March.

‘The arrival of our first electric vehicles shows how seriously the council are taking the issue of air quality and the associated health implications,’ said Cllr Hammond.

‘Electric vehicles could save an estimated 400 tonnes of carbon emissions, helping the environment and delivering cleaner air for everyone in Southampton.

‘This is part of our wider Air Quality Strategy that includes a huge range of actions, and it is one of the ways that the council are leading by example when it comes to improving the city’s air quality,’ he added.

To find out more about the clean air network, click here.

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