Ideas to resolve Marlow’s on-going air pollution problem have been put forward by the town council.

This comes after the town was named an air quality management area in August of last year, with Marlow having high levels of nitrogen dioxide which has been above the legal limit for several years.

On climate change, Marlow Town Council resolved to reduce its own operational greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero as quickly as possible, and to work with the wider Marlow community, to build a broadly supported vision for making the town a net zero-carbon town.

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On air pollution, the council set itself the goal of eliminating illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in Marlow town centre by 2025.

Both documents were agreed by councillors in March and have now been published on the Marlow Town Council website.

Marlow Town Council Leader Jocelyn Towns said: “All our immediate thoughts are of course focused on combating Covid-19, but I and my fellow town councillors believe it is also vital to keep in mind the long-term environmental challenges that will return to the fore once the lock-down eases.

“The council looked widely at what other councils across Britain are doing on climate change and air pollution and sought to identify best practice.

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“Our council’s powers are of course relatively limited compared with those at county level, but we believe that every council tier must play its part and that Marlow can make a difference as a town.”

The council’s five-point plan for achieving this goal comprises:

  1. ● Promoting walking and cycling
  2. ● Reducing vehicle journeys in the town centre
  3. ● Encouraging eco-driving
  4. ● Making the vehicle fleet cleaner
  5. ● Improving street ventilation

Steps to encourage eco-driving have already begun, with the council’s new air quality banner now hanging over Spittal Street, which asks drivers who pass beneath it to ‘reduce speed’ and ‘drive smoothly.

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This is based on scientific findings that higher speeds and harder acceleration both increase emissions of nitrogen oxides, the precursor to nitrogen dioxide pollution.

It goes on to pledge to play its part in achieving this huge change, notably by giving due consideration to climate change in all its decisions, by eliminating its own emissions as quickly as possible, and by working with Marlow residents, businesses and community groups to build a broadly supported vision for making Marlow a net-zero carbon town.