5 November 2023
We have known for years that there are at least 110 premature deaths in Southampton every year due to air pollution , and thousands more whose health suffers badly due to it. Those affected are also more at risk from diseases such as Covid-19. However next to nothing has been done by the City Council about it.
Southampton and District Green Party are calling for action on air quality. This means making clean air zones where people shop and go to school, reducing traffic in these areas by pedestrianisation and traffic control measures. It means encouraging businesses to reduce pollution and everyone to reduce their use of their cars and make sure that they are all to the best low emission standards. Road 'improvements' aiming to increase the flow of traffic will just increase traffic and make pollution worse.
Greens would invest in a safe, clean and accessible public transport network that makes travel easier and cheaper and reduces emissions. Everyone should be within easy range of key facilities such as shops, doctors and green spaces.
It is shambolic that the majority of ships berthing in Southampton docks has only one set of facilities for shore to ship power. The port receives the largest ships in the world and while in port they continue to pollute. Every ship is like a small town emitting air pollution directly into the centre of our city and into our lungs.
Spokesperson Katherine Barbour reminded civic leaders, "We need our representatives to show more leadership. Having a Green City strategy only works to reduce air pollution if meaningful action is taken."
1. Public Health England, Air Quality Briefing, Public Health Annual Report 2014 for Southampton. ".... 6.2% of deaths in 2010 were attributable to air pollution, with long-term exposure contributing 110 deaths amongst those aged 25 years and over and 1,280 life years lost."
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