Richmond.gov.uk
My Account

To improve local air pollution, we must change our behaviour. We need to understand our own personal impact on air quality and what we can individually do to help minimise or mitigate poor air. In order to positively influence behaviour we must have an engaging and active communication plan that speaks to all people in the borough. The plan needs to raise awareness through honest and clear messaging and not only explain what we and other authorities are doing, but actively involve and engage the community.

We need to play a leading role in campaigns, new initiatives and public events that will increase awareness and connect with people. We want to actively work with our community and partners to help deliver cleaner air and drive beneficial change.

Some behaviour change can be influenced by local policy, if we are serious about tackling poor air we need to explore these areas, even if they are controversial.

We will lead by example as a local authority and make sure that procurement and internal policy-making contributes to the reduction in air pollution.

For those areas that we cannot influence, we will actively lobby and push for change at higher levels.

Summary of actions

  • A new communications strategy developed in partnership with the community and regularly updated to highlight initiatives and campaigns. Our new Air Quality Action Plan will actively seek community involvement, with designated web pages updated by the community on initiatives that are being delivered
  • Actively lead in important campaigns and initiatives that raise awareness of air pollution within the borough, including Clean Air Day, Car Free Day and idling action campaign events; promoting the use of personal air quality tools (such as airTEXT alerts); proactive measures such as the use of road closures and parklet community spaces
  • As a commitment to our priorities we will create a new Air Quality & Transport Committee specifically to look at Air Quality and actively engage with the community
  • We will work with our Public Health colleagues to link our work closely to the health agenda and look at the opportunities to provide information and join up our campaigns
  • We need to lead by example so will be developing a ‘benchmark test’ for air quality to gauge the impact of internal decision-making around factors such as procurement
  • We will work with our Communications Team to promote the use of low pollution, back roads for walking or cycling to reduce individual exposure to air pollution
  • This new Air Quality Action Plan will be interactive and updated every quarter to help measure our performance as a borough
  • Continue to raise awareness of the fact that the whole borough is covered by a smoke control order and provide information to suppliers of solid fuels on the restrictions within the borough. We will also actively press for more regulatory powers to cover the impact of wood burning appliances
  • We will create a joint action working group that will actively involve communities in the air quality agenda and that will report to the Chair of the new Air Quality & Transport Committee
  • We will commission a Diesel Levy paper and options around parking for the borough. The implementation and the scope of that implementation will be considered by the Air Quality & Transport Committee. We will also benchmark against other leading boroughs that have considered and are implementing charges linked to vehicle emissions

Useful resources

Clean Air Route Finder – A website run by the Cross River Partnership which provides alternative routes between your two chosen locations (selected via the map or typed in). You can choose the cycling or walking mode and it provides information about the relative air quality for alternate routes.

airTEXT - A free service for the public providing three-day forecasts of air quality, pollen, UV and temperature across Greater London. It is intended for residents with breathing difficulties or heart problems who are most susceptible to poor air quality.

Smoke control areas - How to conform to the borough-wide smoke control area.

Progress matrix
Action Current status Timeframe Target Comments

A new communications strategy developed in partnership with the community and updated regularly to highlight initiatives and campaigns. This action plan needs to be owned by the community and not just the council. Many groups in our borough are actively tackling air pollution and raising awareness and we need to capture and promote this work

In progress Ongoing New Communications plan updated quarterly Community updates/input welcomed

We will actively lead in important campaigns and initiatives that raise awareness within the borough, including clean air day, car free day, airTEXT and idling action campaign events, as well as proactive measures such as the use of road closures and park-lets

In progress April 2025 4 campaigns implemented a year Physical events against Public Health advice in 2020 due to COVID-19. Online publicity provided and alternatives offered where possible

As a commitment to our priorities we will create a new Air Quality & Transport Committee specifically to look at Air Quality and actively engage with the community

Complete April 2021 Creation of Air Quality & Transport Committee and engagement with the community Air Quality and Transport Committee created

We will work with our Public Health colleagues to link our work closely to the health agenda and look at the opportunities to provide information and join up our campaigns

In progress Ongoing 2025  

We need to lead by example so will be developing a ‘benchmark test’ to gauge the impact of internal decision making around factors such as procurement

In progress April 2025 Benchmark formulae to be drafted  

We will work with our Communications Team to promote the use of low pollution, back roads for walking or cycling to reduce individual exposure to air pollution

In progress April 2025 Promotion of low pollution routes  

This new plan will be interactive and updated every quarter to provide transparent and concise updates to measure our performance as a borough

In progress Ongoing New plan  
Continue to raise awareness of the fact that the whole borough is covered by a smoke control order and provide information to suppliers of solid fuels on the restrictions within the borough. We will also actively press for more regulatory powers to cover the impact of wood burning appliances In progress April 2025 20 businesses engaged with  
We will create a joint action working group that will actively involve communities in the air quality agenda and that reports to the Chair of the new Air Quality & Transport Committee In progress January 2025 Terms of reference and membership created Paused during COVID-19 - first meeting to be held Autumn 2020
We will commission a Diesel Levy options paper and impact baseline for the borough. The implementation and its scope will be considered at the Air Quality & Transport Committee. We will also benchmark against other leading boroughs that have considered and are implementing charges linked to vehicle emissions In progress April 2021 Draft diesel report to Committee, draft benchmarking exercise to Committee  

Updated: 11 November 2020