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Fareham council outlines clean air progress

Fareham borough council has outlined its progress in implementing plans to address emissions of nitrogen dioxide pollution, following a visit by the environment minister Thrse Coffey.

The council was identified within the governments NO2 plan as an area where nitrogen dioxide levels are projected to exceed national air quality objectives beyond 2021 one of 28 local authorities to have been named within the plan.

Cllr Woodward and Environment Minister Thrse Coffey during the minister’s visit to the borough on Friday (12 January)

The areas of road identified in the report were from the A27 near the Delme roundabout, down to the Quay Street roundabout, part of Gosport Road and along the A27 to the Station roundabout; a major factor is around 30,000 vehicles travelling in and out of the Gosport peninsula each day.

Work being undertaken by the council is looking at measures to improve air quality with an initial project to assess vehicle movements at areas where high NO2 levels have been recorded.

This will feed into proposals to be submitted to Defra later this year, and could include the establishment of a clean air zone covering the affected areas.

Funding

Funding for the work has been provided by the governments 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.

During her visit to the borough, Dr Coffey was offered an update on the councils work to date, which has included convening an air quality working group comprising council representatives, air quality specialists and local community groups.

Cllr Sen Woodward, leader of Fareham borough council, said: I’m delighted to welcome the Environment Minister to Fareham. This is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the good work we have been doing to improve our air quality and to work with the Government towards a cleaner, brighter future. Reducing the levels of harmful vehicle emissions in the Borough is a key priority for us as it contributes to the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Environment Minister Thrse Coffey said: Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010, but we recognise there is more to do which is why we have put in place a 3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

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.

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