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Swindon look to ban HGVs from ‘problem’ road for NO2 emissions

Councillors in Swindon hope to address a problem road in the town for air pollution with a ban for HGVs that could cut Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) emissions by a third.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve a plan on April 20 which includes banning HGVs from using Kingshill Road, as they estimate 250 regularly use the road every year.

Cabinet approved the declaration of an Air Quality Management Area for the top of Kingshill Road in February 2018, and the borough needs to cut NO2 emissions by at least a third to bring air pollution back to safe levels.

The council blames the high amounts of NO2 found on the road on the number of vehicles that use the road, the closeness of the houses to the road, the fact houses are sheltered from prevailing winds and the topography of the road means the nitrogen dioxide can’t disperse and gets trapped.

Cllr Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: ‘We are required to reduce NO2 emissions generated on Kingshill Road by 30% and the proposal to remove HGVs from the road is a significant step towards achieving that.

‘The most far-reaching solution with the biggest impact would be for those people who currently drive up and down Kingshill to use alternative modes of transport such as walking or cycling, which would also have other health benefits for people.

‘We realise that this isn’t practical for everyone but if you can walk, cycle, car share or take the bus, then please do that whenever you can. Every journey makes a difference.’

Other measures that the council are proposing include changing licensing for the town’s taxi and hackney carriage fleet and funding bus companies so they can transition to low-emission models.

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