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Fareham to approve initial steps for air quality plan

Fareham council in Hampshire is moving ahead with plans to draft an air quality plan to address emissions of nitrogen dioxide within the borough.

The council was identified within the government’s NO2 plan as an area where nitrogen dioxide levels are projected to exceed national air quality objectives beyond 2021 – on of 28 local authorities to have been named within the plan. Work being undertaken by the council will explore measures to will improve air quality.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras will be used by Fareham council to assess vehicle movements at areas with high NO2 pollution

The location where air quality limit breaches have been recorded relates to an area of road from the M27 motorway Junction 11 to the A27 ‘through-about’ – branching onto the nearby A32.

The first step of this work involves the assessment of traffic flow in the area to determine the type of vehicles moving through the zone. At a meeting tomorrow, councillors are expected to approve the procurement of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) software in order to carry out the assessment.

Funding for the work is being provided by the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) through the £255 million Air Quality Implementation Fund, which was announced alongside the national air quality plan in July. The cost of the work is expected to be around £94,000.

Atkins Air Quality Management Consultants is also working with the council on the project.

Feasibility

This will inform the council’s feasibility study which will be used to draw up a draft plan for proposals to address NO2 air pollution in the borough – with a draft plan due by the end of March 2018, before a final version of the plan can be approved by the government in December 2018.

Similar work is already underway in Bath, another of the councils named within the NO2 plan, which is carrying out ANPR monitoring of traffic this week (see airqualitynews.com story).

Last month Hampshire council launched a competition for primary school pupils in the Fareham and Gosport areas in a bid to raise awareness of issues relating to air pollution.

Competition

The competition asks pupils to create images about what clean air means to them and how everyone can think about small changes that could make a big difference to air quality. The winning designs will be made into lamp post banners and displayed along the A32.

Launching the competition last month, Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire county council said, “We all have a role to play in helping improve air quality and this competition is a great opportunity for young people to think about how small actions by individuals can make a big difference to the community.

“Pupils are able to produce creative designs to really get them thinking about how they can help make drivers more aware of the importance of good air quality and what they can do to reduce pollution; many of these primary school children scoot, cycle or walk to school already.â€?

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