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Superb cycle rates fail to solve Richmond's pollution problem
Richmond boasts the highest proportion of cyclists in London, but with little effect on the borough’s environment.
The percentage of people who cycled at least once a month in Richmond was 31, compared with 25 in the second place borough, Lambeth, according to sustainable energy company GI Energy.
Despite this, Richmond was 13th worst for transport emissions (191,000 tonnes of CO2), compared with Islington (125,700 tonnes of CO2) in second.
Councillor Jerry Elloy, opposition spokesperson for transport, said: “We are terribly concerned about that. We are very keen on promoting cyclists but it has got to be part of a strategy.”
Coun Elloy said transport emissions were relatively high due to busy roads running through the borough, particularly the A316 and A205, which produce a lot of exhaust fumes and, to some extent, take the problem out of the council’s hands.
But according to GI Energy, housing was the biggest contributor to carbon footprint at 48 per cent, while transport counted for 21 per cent.
Richmond was the fifth best borough for recycling at 44.7 per cent, compared with Bexley in first place with 53.5 per cent. It produces the eighth least CO2 emissions – 840,000 tonnes – compared with the low of 730,000 tonnes in Kingston.
Chris Davidson, director of development at GI Energy, said: “Richmond is clearly going in the right direction to achieve its aim of becoming the most sustainable borough in London, and its drive to make the borough’s housing stock more energy-efficient is commendable.
“However, in the long term, to reach the Government’s targets of an 80 per cent reduction in the UK’s carbon footprint by 2050 there are a number of sustainable energy solutions which reap substantial benefits, both in reducing carbon footprints and building running costs, that should not be overlooked.”
He suggested a series of sustainable energy solutions, including ground source heat pumps.
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