Why clean air?
This project is being undertaken to improve air quality in Saffron Walden. The medieval road layout of the town means that high volumes of vehicles including HGVs come into close proximity with high numbers of pedestrians. Elevated emissions are associated with high volumes of slow-moving traffic, leading to higher levels of emissions than free flowing traffic. New roads will not solve this problem, so instead, we need to cut out vehicle trips that could be completed by car share, foot, bike or public transport.
Wood burning is a major source of air pollution in the UK. Lighting fires in our homes is the largest source of harmful small particle air pollution (PM2.5) in the UK, which can harm our lung, heart and brain health. Wood burning is also almost always more expensive than other forms of heating and creates more harmful CO2 emissions than oil or gas. In a recent survey, 80% of Saffron Walden residents reported having a wood burner or open fire in their home. The wood burning education project will share the facts about wood burning with residents and empower them to make informed decisions for their health, their families and their community.
Despite recent improvements in air quality we recognise that there is a need to do more to reduce emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter and make the town a healthier place to live.