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Crawley consults on Air Quality Management Area

Borough council seeks residents’ views on size of AQMA proposed for the town to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels.

Crawley borough council is seeking residents’ views on the “size and extent” of a proposed Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) covering parts of the town centre.

On Monday (February 23) the council launched a three-week consultation on the proposals, along with map of the AQMA encompassing sections of Crawley Avenue close to the Hazlewick roundabout.

Crawley council buildings in West Sussex

Crawley council buildings in West Sussex

Crawley Avenue (A2011) is the main link road (dual carriage way) between the M23 and Crawley town centre, and the council says several sections of this road exceed annual average national objectives for nitrogen dioxide of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre (ugm3).

According to the council’s latest air quality assessment, one NO2 roadside diffusion tube monitor recorded levels of the pollutant at 54.6 ugm3 near the roundabout in 2011.

The council says that the “most significant source of local air pollution is road traffic”, and that while the air quality in Crawley is “generally good”, the authority “must not be complacent”.

As such, on top of encouraging residents to cycle, walk or use public transport where possible, the council is seeking views from local residents, businesses and town employees on the proposed AQMA before drawing up an Air Quality Action Plan to tackle the issue.

Crawley borough councillor Colin Lloyd, cabinet member for environment, said: “Before we formally declare the area and draw up an action plan we want to hear from local people and also those who spend a good deal of their time here. We want to know if people think the area we’ve outlined is properly representative of the issue, and if not, why not?

“It’s important we make the right decisions for people and the only way to do that is to listen to those affected. I’d urged anyone who thinks they may be affected to get in touch.”

The consultation closes on March 13.

The Airports Commission is currently considering options which could see another runway added at Gatwick Airport, which would likely have an impact on road traffic and air quality in nearby Crawley (see airqualitynews.com story).

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