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Acting to improve air quality

Archived press release

Date Published: 03/07/06

Local residents are being asked to comment on new proposals drawn up by AVDC and Buckinghamshire County Council that set out on-going and future measures to improve the air quality in the Tring Road area of Aylesbury. Recent studies by AVDC on ai...

Local residents are being asked to comment on new proposals drawn up by AVDC and Buckinghamshire County Council that set out on-going and future measures to improve the air quality in the Tring Road area of Aylesbury.

Recent studies by AVDC on air quality revealed a traffic hot spot along a section of the A41 Tring Road and as a result an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was formally declared.

Levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air around this traffic hot-spot were found to be potentially exceeding government pollution guidelines. The pollution is mainly caused by traffic emissions.

Since the AQMA was formally declared in July 2005, AVDC has been working with Buckinghamshire County Council, the authority responsible for transport, to draw up an action plan aimed at improving the air quality within this area.

At a meeting of the district council’s cabinet on 27 June, members discussed the joint AVDC and Buckinghamshire County Council draft proposals to reduce pollution levels. The plans include:

  • Consideration of traffic control options involving traffic lights at Tring Road and King Edward Avenue
  • Introducing the Aylesbury Public Transport Hub, a project in Aylesbury aimed at improving the local transport network and reducing town centre congestion
  • Consideration of plans to increase bus use in the area by developing an additional Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) along Tring Road.
  • Raising awareness of local air quality issues via council websites
  • Promoting and encouraging the development and adoption of school, workplace and personalised travel plans to reduce the number of people bringing vehicles into Aylesbury

Members of the cabinet understand and advocate the need to implement improvements in traffic management arrangements in the short term and to implement longer term measures designed to address the air quality management issues identified in the area designated by the AQMA.

The draft plan will be open to public comments from 3 July to 21 July, prior to being submitted to the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in August for final approval.

District Councillor Michael Edmonds, Cabinet Member for Housing, Environment and Health, said, “Poor air quality can affect people’s health and it is our aim to ensure that the air in this district is of the best possible quality. Overall levels of air quality in Aylesbury are generally good. However, along the busy Tring Road pollution levels are slightly higher than government guidelines. Clean air is important and in defining an Air Quality Management Area we are making sure that special attention and effort will be made to reduce air pollution in this area of town.

“We want to assure residents directly affected within the AQMA that the council will be energetically seeking to ensure that the remedial measures set out in the draft action plan are implemented. I would urge any residents who are concerned about the AQMA, or would like to participate in helping to improve the air quality situation locally, to let us know their views on the action plan.”

County Councillor Valerie Letheren, Portfolio Holder for Transportation, said, “We are committed to working with the district council to improve this situation. There are no quick fixes. As well as helping in the short-term through controlling traffic lights, we need long-term solutions. At the end of the day, it is people in cars that cause the problem, so providing motorists with high quality alternatives, such as good public transport and encouraging cycling and walking, where possible, are the only effective solutions.”

The draft action plan will be available on this website and at the council’s area offices in Aylesbury, Buckingham and Winslow.

Contact information

Telephone:

01296 585099

Email:

communications@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk