Cornwall council has presented its draft action plan for improving air quality in Grampound, a village in the west of the county between Truro and St Austell.
The plan was drawn up after the village was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2017 after long term monitoring found that the village has excessive levels of traffic related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) along the A390 road.
According to the council private diesel cars contribute around 36% of the pollution, along the A390, with diesel light goods vehicles contributing 27% and large vehicles such as HGVs contributing 18%. The remaining pollution comes from other types of road traffic, Cornwall council says.
Consultation work carried out in 2017 suggested that residents were keen for a bypass to be built close to the village to redirect traffic onto different routes – a measure that has been dismissed by the council due to the ‘current economic climate’.
Alternative measures outlined in the plan include encouraging car sharing through the CarshareCornwall initiative and promoting modal shift among residents and commuters. Improvements to bus services and a more frequent train service on the Cornish Mainline from May 2019 is expected to aid this part of the plan.
The council will also work with bus providers to improve the efficiency of the local bus fleet – prioritising new buses on the St Austell-Truro route that runs through the area.
A new St Austell Link Road, which is expected to begin construction in summer 2020 is also expected to bring about a reduction in traffic on the A390.
Other work will include a targeted air quality campaign for residents and businesses who frequently travel through the impacted area.
The council’s report on the proposals notes: “It is important to encourage greater uptake of public transport, particularly as the main line train service will increase in frequency from 2019 and there is a regular bus service between Truro and St Austell. Reducing traffic through Grampound will be a key to improving air quality here where other options are limited.“
Consultation on the plans will run from this week until 10 December, and will offer local people the opportunity to share their thoughts on the options available.
Bob Egerton, county councillor for Grampound, said: “The draft plan includes twelve measures that could help improve air quality in Grampound. We need as many local people as possible to tell us what they think so we can develop the most suitable options for the village.â€?
Sue James, Cornwall council’s cabinet member for environment and protection, added: “Cornwall Council is committed to making Cornwall greener and healthier and as part of our Clean Air for Cornwall strategy we already have a range of air quality projects and policies to help improve air quality across the county.
“These include minimising emissions from bus and works vehicle fleets, requiring electric vehicle charging points in new homes, introducing car clubs and many others. Once we’ve considered the comments from this consultation we’ll be able to begin implementing local measures to help improve air quality in Grampound.â€?
There are eight other Air Quality Management Areas in Cornwall, which include Bodmin, Camborne-Pool-Redruth, Camelford, Gunnislake, Launceston, St Austell, Tideford and Truro.
Grampound draft air quality plan & consultation