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North Herts delivers air quality action plan

North Hertfordshire district council (NHDC) has developed a Joint Action Plan with the Highways Service at Hertfordshire county council, in a bid to improve air quality within the district.

Monitoring carried out by the council shows that in most areas of the district, pollution levels are below legal limits, except in two areas where the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are marginally above these thresholds.

NHDC’s air quality plan covers parts of Hitchin

The two locations are an area along Stevenage Road, east of the Hitchin Hill roundabout, and in the vicinity of Payne’s Park. The primary source of the pollution has been identified as coming from the exhaust emissions of petrol and diesel engine vehicles moving through the areas.

Actions to be undertaken include encouraging businesses and other organisations to take part in the ECO Stars fleet recognition scheme, work to encourage walking and cycling, including developing school travel plans in the borough’s nine schools.

Actions

The council will also seek to improve the number of publicly available charging points for electric vehicles, as well as look at the replacement of diesel vehicles with lower emission alternatives within its own fleet.

Other actions include participating in the Clean Air Day in July, and implementing an air quality notification system for residents.

Cllr Bernard Lovewell, NHDC’s executive member for Housing and Environmental Health, said: “We would like to reassure residents that air quality in the district is generally good. We recognise that there are a large number of air quality policy areas that are outside of our influence, however in this report we set out how we plan to effectively tackle air quality issues which are within our control.

The Plan will be reviewed every five years and progress on measures set out within the Plan will be reported on annually.

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