Coventry City Council will look to permanently close a level crossing near to a heavily polluted road, as part of their air quality Outline Action Plan which they submitted to government on Friday (March 29).
The council says the level crossing on Coundon Road produces a major bottleneck that contributes to poor air quality on Holyhead Road, which Friends of the Earth says has the tenth highest levels of NO2 emissions in UK locations outside London, with 75.6 ug/m3.
However, the proposed measure has proved controversial in the city, and the Coventry Telegraph reported last month that over 1500 people had signed a petition objecting to the plans to close the level crossing.
Objectors in the petition said: ‘They have not taken into account the knock-on effect that this will cause to local doctors surgeries or homes for the elderly or the effect it will have on the commuters of the Coundon and Radford area.’
The council has previously stated that it would seek to avoid implementing an emissions based charging scheme for vehicles to access parts of the city.
A council spokesperson said: ‘The council recognises that such a closure will impact upon local communities, and should the scheme come forward as part of the Final Action Plan agreed with government there will be extensive consultation with the local community and with statutory bodies such as Network Rail and train and bus companies.
‘No decision has been made and this process would consider everyone’s views.’