‘Councils must unite to tackle air pollution’

OXFORDSHIRE’S local authorities should work together more to help tackle the city’s unique air pollution problems, it has been claimed.

It has emerged that Oxford has consistently failed to meet its target for reducing nitrogen dioxide, which is caused by diesel vehicles.

Oxford City Council, which is responsible for monitoring pollution, says measurements in the city centre have failed, since 2005, to go below the target of 40ug/m3 – or micrograms per cubic metre of air.

In 2009 measurements in the city centre were 50ug/m3 and in 2011, the last year for which figures are available, it had climbed to 61ug/m3.

But the city council has said Oxford has met all its targets for other pollutants such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide.

Green city councillor Elise Benjamin said: “I’m not surprised the city has failed to meet its target.

“Because Oxford is effectively in a bowl we get air pollution hanging here, so for that reason we have to take extra measures.

“Both the city council and Oxfordshire County Council have to work together by being more proactive in getting people out of their cars.”

She suggested a park and ride system for deliveries coming into Oxford and more work to get people to leave their cars behind when going to work or school.

One of the areas where there is concern about pollution is at the Wolvercote roundabout.

When the last detailed assessment was carried out in 2008 there were three sites near the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts which exceeded the Government-set target for nitrogen dioxide, and another one which was close to exceeding it.

continue reading ‘Councils must unite to tackle air pollution’ (From Oxford Mail).

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