Derby city council has outlined three potential options that are under consideration to comply with a legal requirement to improve air quality in the city.
Published for consultation today (30 July), the options include the potential for the introduction of a charging Clean Air Zone, although the council has noted that this is not a preferred option.
Derby was one of five authorities ordered by government in its 2015 air quality plan to establish whether a Clean Air Zone could bring down concentrations of nitrogen dioxide pollution in line with legal limits ahead of current projections.
Of the five, Birmingham, Leeds and Southampton councils have already begun consultation on plans to implement Clean Air Zones, whilst Nottingham council has concluded that the measure would not be necessary to meet its legal obligations.
Derby’s plans have been released later than anticipated due to a change in the political leadership of the council since May.
Among the three proposals set out for consultation by the council is the favoured option involving re-routing traffic away from a specific area where the NO2 limit is exceeded at Stafford Street in the centre of the city.
This would be accompanied by a ‘very specific’ incentive scheme to support a change of vehicles in the city, and support for sustainable travel. No details of how this would be implemented have yet been released.
A second option, involves a Clean Air Zone with charges for all non-compliant vehicles entering the city centre at the inner ring road, which would also be supported by an incentive scheme and sustainable travel measures.
The final option residents and businesses have been asked to provide views on, labelled the ‘benchmark option’ by the council which includes a Clean Air Zone with charges for all non-compliant vehicles – the boundary of which would be the city’s outer ring road.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, the council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leadership, Regeneration and Public Protection said: “We have made it our priority to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in the city.
“Since taking control of the council and getting this issue, officers have had to work very hard to prepare options for consultation to ensure we are working towards a legally compliant package of measures.
“We all have a part to play in achieving cleaner air for Derby and I encourage residents, local businesses and stakeholders to take part in the consultation to help inform the best local solution for our city.â€?
The consultation runs until Monday 24 September.
Derby air quality consultation