Fareham borough council has unveiled a series of measures that it is proposing to implement to improve air quality in the borough.
The council was one of 23 authorities named within the government’s NO2 plan as having to assess options for improving air quality, in order to comply with legal limits on nitrogen dioxide air pollution.
As part of this, the council was required to assess whether a Clean Air Zone would bring its air quality within legal limits within the soonest possible timeframe, or whether other measures could bring about similar reductions in air pollution.
One area within Fareham has been identified as being ‘at risk’, a stretch along the A27 road. Predictions indicate a potential small exceedance level of 0.9ugm3 above the 40ugm3 limit during 2020, which will be required to be addressed within the plan.
The council has until 31 December to submit a full business case to government of its preferred options.
Following assessment of the options available to it earlier this year, the council has now brought forward its preferred measures for improving air quality.
The measures will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s executive next week (3 September), at which councillors will be asked to vote on the plans, which will then be put out to public consultation.
Documents published ahead of the meeting indicate that the council believes it would be difficult to implement a Clean Air Zone before the 2020 implementation deadline set out by Defra, and would therefore favour alternative options.
Among these options is work to tackle bus, coach and taxi emissions through a retrofit programme. Around 25 buses which operate within the affected area could be updated from Euro V to Euro VI standard to help bring about improvements in air quality, the council believes.
Additionally, the council will seek to improve cycling and walking infrastructure to reduce the number of short car trips made within the borough.
Improvements in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and a fleet recognition scheme have also been identified as potential options for implementation.
Commenting on the proposals, Cllr Trevor Cartwright MBE, the council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Protection said: “The health and wellbeing of everyone living and working in Fareham is a key priority. We have therefore undertaken a huge amount of work to come up with appropriate measures that will be effective in the shortest possible term.
“I would urge everyone to have their say during the consultation so that we can be sure the final list of measures included in our business case has the full support of our residents and local businesses.â€?
Fareham council list of air quality measures