High Peak borough council is to work with organisations including the Highways Agency and Derbyshire county council to address exceedances of legal limits for NO2 air pollution on a section of the A628 road.
In a statement the council, which is situated in rural Derbyshire, said that it routinely monitors air quality at locations across the borough, and had detected an exceedance of the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide – 40?g m-3 – on the A628 Woodhead Road in Tintwistle.
The A628 is a major road which connects Greater Manchester with South Yorkshire via the High Peak. The cause of the exceedance is thought to be emissions from road traffic.
As a consequence the council has declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) at the site, which will require the drafting of an Action Plan to bring the emissions within legal limits.
The local authority has said that it will work with Highways England and Derbyshire council on the remedial action that will be needed to address the NO2 levels, and has sought to allay residents over any concerns that they may have on the action.
Council Leader, Councillor Tony Ashton, said: “We understand that this will obviously cause great concern to people living along the Woodhead Road and we have every sympathy for them. The key point is that by introducing an AQMA we can now put pressure on other agencies to introduce measures that will improve air quality in this locality and, by this action, we will protect the health and well-being of both those residents and passers-by.
“Over the coming months we will be consulting with partner agencies and then the next step will be to publish an action plan setting out how improvements can be achieved and how we’ll monitor it. As part of the process we will want to hear from local residents who may have ideas about what can be done to reduce pollution from traffic in this area.â€?
According to the council, measures that could be considered as part of the plan include encouraging the use of public and active transport, improving road layouts to improve traffic flows, and potentially encouraging greater use of electric vehicles.