Canterbury council has launched a consultation on its proposals to tackle air pollution within the town, after councillors endorsed the measures.
The Kent council launched a draft version of its Air Quality Action Plan last month – which includes the expansion of an existing Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) due to continued breaches of the 40 µg/m3 nitrogen dioxide limit, around Rheims Way a major route into the centre of the city.
The proposed extension includes expansion into areas where NO2 levels touch an average of 36 µgm/m3 to ensure a ‘10% buffer’ against any potential breaches of the legal limit, the council says.
A new AQMA will also be created in Herne at the mini roundabout junction of the A291 and School Lane.
The draft action plan covers five broad themes – public health, transport, planning and infrastructure, awareness and education and the council’s strategic approach. Each theme sets out a number of proposals and timescales.
Proposals include steps to address air pollution from the council’s own fleet of vehicles, as well as buses, taxis and freight operators in the city.
Among these, the city council is planning to adopt district-wide anti-idling enforcement powers which would be enforced at coach parks, on-street parking bays, taxi ranks and at level crossings, coupled with a pilot scheme at a number of schools to raise awareness of the issue of idling.
The council will also explore the use of its fee structure to encourage taxi drivers and to use low-emission vehicles as well as develop a ‘strong partnership’ with bus companies to establish a ‘framework for improving the bus network and fleet’.
Council leader Cllr Simon Cook said: “This is one of our most important consultations for many years. Air quality is a complicated issue to resolve and we really want to hear people’s solutions. No suggestion is a bad one and when we ask the public, they usually come up with the goods, often with ideas we would never have thought of.
“But there is no one answer to this problem. It needs everybody working together, from the council and other authorities, to individuals thinking about the choices they make. Together we can make a positive impact.â€?
Public consultation on the city council’s draft air quality action plan opened on Tuesday (1 May) and runs until Friday 22 June.
Canterbury Air Quality Action Plan 2018