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Have your say on air quality plans for Devizes
9:41am Tuesday 31st July 2012 in News
Residents and businesses in Devizes are being urged to have their say on how the council can help monitor and improve air quality in the town.
The council has identified that a few small areas in the town centre currently exceed the national expected standard of air pollution for nitrogen dioxide from vehicle exhausts.
To ensure this situation is monitored and tackled it is being proposed the existing ‘air quality management area’ is extended, as a start to producing an air quality action plan for the town.
Three potential options on which roads to include are now being put forward in a 12-week consultation and townspeople are invited to have their say.
Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for public health and public protection, Keith Humphries, said: “We are very lucky that in Wiltshire the vast majority of the county’s air is extremely clean. However, we do have very small pockets in some of our towns where the air quality does exceed the national standards and this is often caused by traffic congestion at narrow points in the road.
“To help combat this we create air quality management areas so we are continually monitoring the situation and then develop action plans with local people to try and improve it.
"We hope the people of Devizes take the chance to help influence how we can take forward our plans to improve the air quality in the relatively small areas of their town where it is higher than average.”
Devizes currently has one air quality management area which covers Shane’s Castle.
Five other areas have been identified which could potentially exceed national air quality standards: The Nursery, Northgate Street, St James Terrace, Southgate roundabout and Chantry Court/New Park Street.
It is estimated that between 200 and 400 adults live in these areas.
The council is considering three options for a new air quality management area:
• Option 1: Includes all those areas and slightly extend beyond them. There is potential in the future that these areas might have to be extended if other ‘hot spots’ are identified.
• Option 2: This includes all those areas and the centre of Devizes. This area is unlikely to be extended in the future as air pollution is not a concern outside of the town centre.
• Option 3: This would extend beyond the centre of Devizes to include London Road and Hopton Industrial Estate – areas that currently do not have any air pollution and are not expected to.
Wiltshire Council has a county-wide air quality strategy, which recognises the need to work with other agencies, local people and area boards to tackle air quality management.
There are seven areas in Wiltshire which have been designated as air quality management areas.
In Salisbury action plans for its air quality management areas have helped influence sustainable transport policies and seen the introduction of schemes like park and ride, which have helped reduce air pollution in the city.
People can give their views on the Devizes air quality consultation by email to: email@example.com, in writing to: Wiltshire Council, Public Protection Services, Rachel Kent, Devizes Air Quality AQMA Consultation, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JN or via the council’s website at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council/consultations