More than 100 people in Northampton die every year as a result of the air pollution in the town, figures from a borough council report have shown.
Northampton Borough Council’s new draft Low Emission Strategy includes an estimate of the amount of deaths in 2010 attributable to air pollution.
The table shows that 102, or 6.1 per cent, of the deaths of people aged 25 and over in Northampton that year could be due to the poor quality of air.
Northampton has a higher rate than the England average, 5.6 per cent, and is also above the county average of 5.7 per cent. In total, there were 323 deaths in Northamptonshire attributable to air pollution.
To improve the air quality in the town, the borough council is proposing to encourage people to use public transport or cycle to work. it is also proposed to create more electric car charging points to encourage people to move away form petrol and diesel vehicles.
The report states: “Given that Northampton is failing to meet the EU obligations on air quality it is clear that, as the planning authorities, the Borough Council has a significant role to play in ensuring future development will not make air quality worse and will also make a positive contribution to meeting the air quality objectives moving forward.
“The Planning system can also be used very effectively to implement a more joined up and holistic approach to air quality management and implementation of transport policy such as alternatives to the car with improved public transport, opportunities for walking and cycling and development of electrical vehicle recharging infrastructure which goes beyond just that of the development.”
However, the council says it is planning to focus on reducing vehicle emissions by encouraging car share schemes in areas such as Brackmills.
The council will also be looking to purchase low emission vehicles for its own employees.