Hammersmith & Fulham sets up Air Quality Commission

Resident-led Commission will recommend actions for the borough council to include in its new Air Quality Action Plan

A new resident-led Air Quality Commission has been set up by the London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in order to “tackle the deadly problem” of air pollution.

Hammersmith and Fulham (3)

Hammersmith Bridge in West London

Announced yesterday (August 19), the Commission will see both the council and local residents work to together and make recommendations for the borough’s new Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), which is due next year.

According to the council, 203 residents in the borough die because of air pollution every year, and the problem “is only expected to get worse, especially is the proposed Heathrow expansion goes — recently backed by the Davies Commission — goes ahead”.

The Airports Commission recently backed the construction of a third runway at Heathrow alongside a number of environmental mitigation measures, but various campaigners have said this would increase traffic and lead to worsened air quality in West London (see story).

King’s College London, meanwhile, also estimates that nearly one in seven (15%) deaths in the borough each year are caused by nitrogen dioxide — the eighth highest in London — while a further 8.1% of deaths are caused by particulate matter.

In 2000, Hammersmith & Fulham council developed an AQAP for the borough, it now says that “more work is needed”.

As a result, the council plans to issue an updated AQAP in near future, and has appointed Hammersmith resident Rosemary Pettit to chair the new Air Quality Commission. Until last month, she chaired the Hammersmith Society, and prior to that she was the membership secretary of the Brackenbury Residents’ Association.

According to the council, the Commission will carry out work to feed into the development of the Plan, engaging with external experts and local residents in “examining the causes and dangers of local air pollution”.

Council leader Stephen Cowan commented:

“We are determined to cut air pollution in Hammersmith & Fulham. Rosemary has a track record of leading positive change for residents and I am delighted she has agreed to head up this review.”

Rosemary Pettit said:“H&F is a very dense and busy borough with a great deal of traffic generating pollution, and increasingly so. It’s important we understand what this pollution is, where it’s coming from and what we can do about it.”


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