New plan set to tackle district’s air pollution

traffic jam PPP-150324-104515001
traffic jam PPP-150324-104515001

Poor air quality in Warwick town centre will be tackled with a new approach to reducing pollution from traffic.

Warwick District Council executive will meet on Wednesday to debate adopting a new Air Quality Action Plan to help tackle high levels of poisons from vehicle emissions.

High levels of pollutants in the town centre have been the subject of ongoing reports and investigations with areas of Warwick seeing no significant change since 2010.

This new plan which the council is urged to adopt, targets Warwick in setting out actions to reduce these numbers over the next six years.

They include promoting alternative travel and low emission vehicles, making sure air quality is considered within planning matters and to make use of traffic management schemes in target areas.

It also sets out plans to inform residents about health impacts of air pollution and what they can do to help, including car sharing and not driving children to schools.

A district council spokesperson said: “This action plan is published in response to both local and national calls for action on air pollution.

“It aims to reduce nitrogen dioxide concentrations, as this is the pollutant for which Warwick District Council is not currently achieving relevant air quality objectives.

“There are locations where pollutant levels are high, along the narrow congested street canyons in Warwick and Leamington.

“The single contributory factor to nitrogen dioxide concentrations in these areas is vehicle emissions.”

The plan focuses on reducing emissions in five air quality management areas (AQMAs) - two being in the town.

The first covers Jury Street, High Street, Theatre Street, Northgate,The Butts, Smith Street, St Nicholas Church Street and part of Saltisford.

The other is at the east side of Coventry Road from the junction with St Johns and Coten End including the Crown Hotel and Montgomery Court.

The plan went out for consultation in July with 15 responses coming back from residents, the town council and chamber of trade.

Residents along St Nicholas Street said it as “a disgraceful document” given what they described as the amount of effort put in to date.

A Charles Street resident said: “Considering the housing development plans for the district and lack of success in reducing pollutants inthe Warwick AQMAs, the actions look rather timid.”