Two air quality management areas (AQMAs) have been declared by Wycombe district council, in a bid to tackle poor air quality in parts of Marlow and High Wycombe.
The AQMAs were proposed after a modelling exercise showed areas likely to exceed the national air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide – and will lead to the development of proposals to address emissions in the two areas.
AQMAs are declared by local authorities in areas where air quality objectives are forecast to be exceeded. When an AQMA is established, councils are required to produce a local Air Quality Action Plan to put in place measures to address air pollution in the area. Close to 400 AQMAs have been declared in areas across the UK.
Plans for the two AQMAs were initially by the council’s cabinet in September, ahead of a public consultation late last year (see airqualitynews.com story).
The council has also reduced the size of an existing AQMA along a stretch of the M40 motorway that passes through the borough as a result of improvements in air quality since it was set up in 2001. While it still runs the whole length of the M40 through the district, the width of the area on either side of the carriageway has been significantly reduced.
Cllr Julia Adey, Wycombe district council’s cabinet member for environment, commented: “By officially declaring two new air quality management areas, we are taking positive and proactive steps to tackle poor air quality for people who visit, live and work in the Wycombe district.
“I was very impressed by the range of comments that we received from local residents, community organisations and businesses during the consultation. All made positive suggestions for ways we can improve air quality for everyone, from improving pavements and encouraging walking, to tackling idling engines and restricting HGV access.
“The hard work starts now, as we create an action plan with our partners which takes all of these comments into consideration and improves air quality as soon as possible.â€?
The new High Wycombe AQMA includes: A40 West Wycombe Road; Oxford Road; Hughenden Road; Abbey Way; Marlow Hill; Queen Victoria Road; Easton Street; Crendon Street; Amersham Hill (between Crendon Street and Rectory Avenue/ Priory Road junction); A40 London Road (between Abbey Way and Knaves Beech Way/ M40 junction 3 roundabout); M40 Junction 3 slip road; A4128 Archway; Glenister Road; Bridge Street; High Wycombe bus station; and strips of land to both sides of all of those roads.
The new Marlow AQMA includes: High Street (between Station Road/ Pound Lane roundabout and West Street/ Spittal Street roundabout); West Street (between High Street/ Spittal Street roundabout and Westwood Road); Spittal Street; Chapel Street; Little Marlow Road (between Chapel Street and Foxes Piece School); and strips of land to both sides of all of those roads.