Fareham Borough Council given £1.4m to help bring cleaner air to the town with traffic light changes and hi-tech bus stops

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NEW bus stops with more information, changes to traffic lights at the Market Quay roundabout, inducements for can drivers to switch to cleaner cars and measures that encourage people to walk and cycle will all come about after a council was given £1.4m to improve air quality. 

Fareham Borough Council has received the funding from the government to address potential illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide between the top of the A32 and Junction 11 of the M27.

M27 to Eastern Way A32

M27 to Eastern Way A32

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More than 1,100 people took part in an online vote last year to have their say on 11 proposals to tackle the issue.

Out of the measures put forward, hundreds thought that buses and taxis should be greener, traffic lights should be reviewed and more electric vehicle charging points should be installed.

READ MORE: Free bus passes should be given to residents to improve air quality, council leader says

The cash, confirmed by the parliamentary under secretary of state for the environment Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, will be used to deliver four that were deemed to have an impact on air quality levels before the end of 2019.

Improvements to traffic signals on Market Quay, providing better infrastructure and encourage residents to walk and cycle, real time information on bus stops and a scheme to encourage Fareham taxi drivers to upgrade from older diesel vehicles to newer cleaner ones will be implemented this year.

Councillor Trevor Cartwright, executive member for health and public protection said: ‘As stated previously, the health and wellbeing of everyone living and working in Fareham is a key priority so this funding is really good news for the Borough. 

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‘I think this will be particularly good news for taxi drivers able to take advantage of the funding available and I would encourage them particularly to contact the council to find out how more about how the scheme will work.’

The revised taxi scheme will be run by Fareham Borough Council and the other three measures co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council as the highway authority.

It was one of 22 authorities including Portsmouth City Council that needed to come up with an air quality plan and measures that could be put in place in order to make a difference by 2020.

READ MORE: Campaigners worry the council will not meet air quality targets

By October this year Portsmouth City Council will have to prove to the government that it is able to improve air quality to the same effect as a clean air zone, as part of two ministerial directives.

If it is unable to do so a mandatory clean air zone, that could see drivers in the city charged a fee, will be put in place.

It comes after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) raised concerns about pollution 'hotspots' in the city including Mile End Road and near the Hope Street roundabout.