A WORKING group has been assembled to speed up the decrease of high air pollution levels across a borough.
Fareham Borough Council has recently set up an air quality working group which includes councillors, experts and representatives from local partners as part of its strategy to improve the borough’s air quality which was highlighted by the government as having illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘The working group set up by Councillor Trevor Cartwright will allow us to speed up the process when bidding for government grants up to £3m to allow us to do the work to improve the air pollution levels.’
One of the first of these grants allowed the council to put up cameras across the borough to collect data on cars’ journeys.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘This data needs to be assessed and will help us to understand what else we can do.
‘Other strategies we may use could be traffic management in terms of HGVs or a putting clean air zone in the centre of the town.
‘We can also look at our taxi fleet and see if we can make this cleaner.’
The council also has a number of road improvement projects across the borough including at Newgate Lane South and the upcoming Stubbington bypass project to relieve traffic pressures.
Cllr Woodward added: ‘Stationary traffic is the main problem and these road improvements will help to keep traffic moving.’
Parliamentary under- secretary of state from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dr Thérèse Coffey MP attended a meeting with the borough council yesterday to discuss its work with air quality management.
Ms Coffey said: ‘Local knowledge is vital to finding solutions for air quality problems that are suited to local areas and the communities and businesses affected.
‘I am delighted to see Fareham taking this seriously and that discussions are underway, and I look forward to seeing firm plans for action as they develop further.’
Cllr Woodward added: ‘The minister was very keen for the Stubbington bypass to progress quickly.’