Air pollution targets to lead to a traffic rethink

Colchester

A POLLUTION expert has warned lorry deliveries in Colchester could be affected following a ruling by the UK’s highest court to act over air pollution limits.

Supreme Court justices said the Government must prepare and consult on new air quality plans to submit to the European Commission.

ClientEarth has said under existing plans, some areas such as London, Birmingham and Leeds would not meet pollution limit targets until 2030, 20 years after the original deadline of 2010.

Essex University environmental science professor Ian Colbeck said: “I suspect Defra will have to come up with additional plans for reducing traffic.

“We may well see restrictions on traffic within Colchester to try to reduce levels.

“There could be impacts on deliveries. They might look at changing delivery times or limiting them to certain times of the day to stop traffic building up.

“Colchester is moving slowly.

“It has got the park and ride now which should help to some extent in reducing the number of cars, although it is some buses which are the major cause of nitrogen dioxide pollution.

“Osborne Street is one the worst places in the area as buses sit outside the bus station. Of all the places I would say Osborne Street is going to need changes.”

Colchester Council has been monitoring air quality for nitrogen dioxide for several years and has declared the town centre, East Street, the Harwich Road and St Andrew’s Avenue junction and Lucy Lane North, Stanway, as area quality management areas.

Air quality monitoring in Colchester revealed in 2013, 11 streets exceeded the recommended pollution limit levels of 40mcgs per cubic metre over a year.

The worst street was Mersea Road which had a reading of 65.9.

After the judges made their mandatory order, ClientEarth described the ruling as “historic”, saying it was “the culmination of a five-year legal battle fought by ClientEarth for the right of British people to breathe clean air”.

It says air pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK, more than obesity and alcohol combined.

Among the measures the Government must consider are low emission zones and congestion charging.

Provisional results for air pollution readings for 2015 in Colchester can be found at essexair.org.uk

via Air pollution targets to lead to a traffic rethink (From Gazette).

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