The main causes of poor air quality in our city are from road transport and congestion which, in addition to costing the local economy hundreds of millions of pounds every year is giving rise to a significant public health issue that is comparable with smoking. Unfortunately, given the microscopic nature of most of the particles that are emitted by road transport, the impact can be and has been overlooked for many years.

It is important to be clear about the scale of the public health problem we face from the travel choices currently being made. That is, while road traffic collisions account for around three fatalities in Newcastle in an average year, the impacts of poor air quality are responsible for hundreds of deaths.

To address this issue we are working on a plan to improve air quality. 

In the meantime – you may be interested in a range of initiatives and projects we’ve been doing recently that help to raise awareness of this issue and the solutions we need to pursue:

  • The Moss Tree that’s been installed on Barras Bridge in the city centre - see press release here.
  • Securing £3.3 million funding to retrofit bus engines - see press release here.
  • Securing £1.7 million funding to deliver more cycle routes and improved traffic management solutions - see press release here.

If you were interested in doing any further reading on this issue then the following links should prove to be useful:

  • The Policy Cabinet paper that was circulated in advance of a public meeting on this matter in early February - see the Policy Cabinet paper here.
  • The Cabinet paper outlining our proposed response to the government’s legal direction to prepare an air quality plan - see the Cabinet papers here.
Page last updated: 
1 November 2018
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