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Wednesday 12 December

Have your say on plans to tackle air pollution

People are being asked for their views on plans to improve air quality across the borough by 2022.

A consultation on the council’s draft Air Quality Action Plan is running to help get views from residents, parish and town councils and community groups.

The draft plans were put together following extensive research and monitoring of air quality, including latest traffic modelling to account for developments currently planned across the borough.

Swale currently has five air quality management areas (AQMAs) – East Street, St Pauls, Newington, Teynham and Ospringe – where levels of nitrogen dioxide are above the annual mean objective of 40ug/m3.

The plans contain 12 measures to help the council focus resources to deliver improvements in air quality – seven borough-wide strategic measures, and five local measures focussed within each AQMA.

The latest modelling predicts all except East Street and Ospringe will be compliant by 2022, but the council is proposing taking action that will benefit the whole borough.

Proposals include:

To deliver these, the council is proposing a new clean air zone/corridor along the A2 and revising planning guidance on air quality.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:

"We have some ambitious plans to tackle air pollution, not just in the action zones, but across the wider borough.

"The proposed clean air zone along the A2 – which could use automatic number plate recognition, similar to London’s Low Emissions Zone – could have a significant impact, so we want to know what people think of this, and other ideas to address the problem.

"Whilst we are ambitious in our plans, partners such as Kent County Council are crucial to improving air quality locally, so I’m pleased that they have been engaging well with the drafting of these plans.

"This is vital, as whilst we might be the ones responsible for preparing the plan, the bigger picture response to the issues lies beyond our control – with central government and County Hall."

The consultation is running until 29 January 2019.

For further information on air quality in the borough visit our air quality pages

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