We are working to meet the challenge of reducing airborne pollutants PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 set by the Government, but success will also require a concerted public effort with each person doing their bit by active travel planning and reducing the reliance on the motor car for travel. This will have other additional benefits as participants will be fitter and healthier by choosing to walk or cycle more regularly and, of course, increased enjoyment of the wonderful East Suffolk landscape.
If a journey is necessary then wherever possible, try to opt for the most sustainable mode of travel available.
Cycling and walking are much cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of travel than driving, so there are a number of positive benefits. The Suffolk County Council (SCC) Transport Plan estimates that 80% of people living within Lowestoft also work in the town which means that many journeys are short and could be done on foot or by cycle.
The Green Suffolk website gives advice on all aspects of the alternative greener travel options and free support is available to assist with travel plans and personal journey plans. You can obtain advice on safe cycling routes and general supportive information from the Sustrans website, which is a charity devoted to promoting cycling as a healthier alternative form of transport. SCC regularly updates cycle maps which are distributed through tourist information points, libraries and through the SCC cycling pages.
Local Links helps Suffolk businesses, organisations and their employees to make cost effective and efficient trips promoting sustainable travel.
Support is also available for businesses in the form of SCC grants through a Travel Plan Grant Scheme. The scheme will offer businesses up to 50% match funding towards the cost and installation of initiatives to support healthier and greener travel in the workplace. The grants have a maximum ceiling of £1000 and you can download an application form. In the past grants have been used to purchase pool bikes to cut down on short car journeys during the day and other facilities such as the provision of secure storage for bicycles.
To make bus travel even better value for money, a number of operators have offered further discounts on purchasing tickets. To find out which bus operators serve your area see the useful information on the Suffolk Onboard website.
You could consider making your next car purchase an electric one and not only enjoy cheaper motoring, but also cleaner in respect of emissions to the atmosphere. Details of local electric charging points can be found on the Zap-Map website and the site also gives general information about owning electric cars. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provide grants for the installation of domestic plug-in charging points and this results in a deduction from the price of the vehicle at the point of sale by the dealership. The Motor Fuels Group is committed to rolling out 400 rapid EV chargers across their public fuel station network, so that many service stations will have recharging facilities.
Suffolk County Council, in partnership with Suffolk's district and borough councils, is working towards supporting and facilitating the uptake of electric vehicle charging opportunities across the county. Suffolk County Council’s website sets out their policy on electric vehicles, including EV charging on-street. Within the on street charging section there is now a form to complete if you don't have access to off road charging and you are interested in community on-street charging near to your home. This will help to identify where more residential charging facilities may be required in the future. (Please note filling in this form does not commit the Council to provide charge points).
East Suffolk Council has installed off-street EV charging points at the following sites in the district. Please note that only those provided at Martello North car park in Felixstowe, and Station Road car park in Woodbridge, are available for public use. Those situated at our Council offices, Port Health, and Depots support our own Electric Pool cars and fleet of operational Norse electric cars and vans but are not open to public use.
|Year of installation||Location of charger||Accessibility||No. of sockets x Speed of charger e.g. a) rapid 43kW+, b) fast 7kW – 42kW or c) slow 3-6kW||Number of vehicles that can be charged at this site|
|Nov 2016||East Suffolk House, Melton||Off-street, not for public use||2xFast 22kW||2|
|May 19||Martello Park North car park, Orford Road, Felixstowe IP11 2DZ||Off-street, available for public use||2xRapid 50kW, 1xFast 22kW||2|
|Sep 2019||Station Road car park, Station Road, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU||Off-street, available for public use||2xFast 22kW||2|
|Feb 2020||Suffolk Coastal Norse Depot||Off-street, not for public use||2xFast 22kW, 10xFast 7.2kW||12|
|Jun 2020||Port Health Authority Felixstowe||Off-street, not for public use.||2xFast 22kW||2|
|Jul 2020||East Suffolk Council and Waveney Norse Depot||Off-street, not for public use||2xFast 22kW, 6xFast 7.2kW||8|
|Jan 2021||Waveney Valley Leisure Centre, St Johns Hill, Bungay NR35 1PH||Off-street, available for public use||2xFast 22kW||4|
The Energy Saving Trust Website offers information about how, by driving ‘smarter’ you can both save money and reduce harmful emissions to the atmosphere. An example of simple action that could help local air quality is for motorists to switch off engines and avoid idling when stationary during a bridge lift at the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft, or whenever you expect to be stopped for longer than one minute – remember, saving fuel saves you money too.
For further information on national air quality, including the latest news, air pollution forecasts, the latest measured levels and a summary, interactive monitoring, and general information about air pollution, visit the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website.