Fareham council decide on air quality measures after consultation

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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TACKLING taxi emissions and real time bus stop information are two of the four measures that will be implemented as part of a council’s air quality plan.

Following a public consultation, Fareham Borough Council will implement four measures in a bid to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in the borough including walking and cycling highway improvements and an intelligent transport system (ITS) review at Quay Street to speed up traffic along Eastern Way.

The council was instructed by the government last year to address potential illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide between the top of the A32 and Junction 11 of the M27.

It was one of 22 authorities 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.

Earlier this year, the council secured £150,000 from the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit and a diesel taxi replacement scheme was set up to make headway on the air problems although the council has said the terms were too stringent and take up has been low.

At a council executive meeting last night, member for health and protection, Councillor Trevor Cartwright, said: ‘When I look at all the hard work our officers have put in they really have done such a lot and we will be one of the only authorities to get our plan in on time.’

More than 1,100 people took part in the online survey although figures showed just less than half did not live in the borough of Fareham.

Out of the 11 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.

Employing an air quality engagement officer and setting up a charging clean air zone were the least popular options with many residents saying the charging zone would have negative financial effects. 

Portchester West Councillor Sue Bell raised residents’ concerns about the impact more housing and therefore traffic would have on the nitrogen levels.  

The four measures have been estimated to cost £1.2m and will be funded by the Joint Quality Air Unit (JAQU) if the plan is approved.