Residents and businesses in Basildon, Essex are being asked to have their say on a proposed road crossing scheme which the council say would reduce air pollution in the region.
Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council have previously been directed by the government to assess the likely effectiveness of a clean air zone (CAZ), which would charge drivers of polluting vehicles when entering the zone.
Both councils have strongly opposed the idea of a CAZ and are instead proposing the new road crossing scheme, which they state would bring air quality to within legal levels by 2022.
The scheme would involve relocating shared crossings in East Mayne away from the central reservation, where roadside air quality has been identified as exceeding legal limits for nitrogen dioxide.
The councils have also proposed a number of other initiatives, these include:
- A 50mph speed limit on a stretch of the A127
- New electric vehicle charging points across the borough
- Funding for bus operators to reduce emissions from buses
Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for Infrastructure, said: ‘Improving poor air quality and reducing our exposure to it will mean more people live safer, greener and healthier lives.
‘This project is a difficult balancing act but doing nothing is not an option and we must address the air quality exceedances in Basildon as soon as possible, as required by law. We believe our proposals represent the most proportionate way of doing that while recognising that they would cause some inconvenience to cyclists and pedestrians.
‘Amid all the challenges and negative impacts of Coronavirus, the pandemic has also provided the catalyst to make some positive changes, including the way we travel. Together, we now have an exciting opportunity to create a sustainable transport legacy and be part of the journey to cleaner travel in Basildon.’
To access the Basildon Air Quality Survey and find out more about the proposals visit essex.gov.uk/airquality.
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