The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to endorse an interim air quality action plan at its meeting next Friday (November 1).
The interim plan, developed by its Air Quality Task Force, which includes representatives from partner organisations across the city region, makes a number of recommendations, including:
- Development of a 600km walking and cycling network
- Investigating scrappage schemes such as a Taxi Scrappage Scheme
- Working towards a zero emission bus fleet by 2040
- A commitment to work closely with partners across all six of the Combined Authority’s constituent local authorities, who are all represented on the Air Quality Task Force
- Rolling out a network of alternative fuel facilities across the region, such as hydrogen fuelling facilities, linked to a £6.4 million scheme to pilot hydrogen buses in the city region
- Investigating alternative models of bus delivery to best serve the needs of the city region and improve air quality
- Potential of a boiler scrappage scheme to help address domestic consumption and fuel poverty
- Investigating measures to reduce heat loss from homes, potentially through retrofitting insulation, to reduce energy use – around 25% of the heat produced by a boiler can escape through an uninsulated roof
- Procuring new cleaner, greener Mersey Ferries vessels to replace the existing, 60-year old vessels
- Making the case to Government for long-term funding certainty to support the delivery of measures that support clean air
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Ensuring that everyone can breathe clean air is one of the most fundamental issues facing us today and an issue that we must address together.
“Earlier this year the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority declared a climate emergency and addressing poor air quality is at the heart of responding to it.
“As is so often the case, it is our most deprived communities, who already have to cope with multiple health problems, who suffer most from the effects of polluted air. Public Health England has calculated that air pollution contributes to 700 deaths a year in our city region and we know that we have areas where men have a life expectancy seven years lower than the national average.
“We have had some notable successes in tackling air pollution. Seven-out-of-ten buses in the city region are now low emission, we are home to pioneering work to develop trains that run on hydrogen and we’re building on our strength in offshore wind with the development our potentially world-leading Mersey Tidal Power scheme.
“And this action plan sets out how we can work together with partners across the whole of our city region to tackle this ongoing public health emergency.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Air Quality and Transport, said: “Clearly no single organisation or individual can address poor air quality alone. That’s why our Air Quality Task Force is made up of elected and other representatives from across the six local authority area of the city region. And it’s why this plan, the first result of its work, contains actions for the Combined Authority, for our constituent local authorities and partners, supported by the Combined Authority, for residents, communities and businesses and actions we need from central government and its agencies.
“We all need to change the way we live, work and do business if we are to improve our air quality for ourselves and for future generations. And we need to make those changes now.”