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6th Jul, 2022

Safeguards against air pollution look set to be ditched

SAFEGUARDS against air pollution in Stratford look set to be ditched.

Stratford District Council is set to revoke the town’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) status, which is declared when pollutants exceed recommended government levels.

Stratford was declared as an AQMA in 2010, leading to strategies being adopted in a bid to reduce figures.

These included creating more green spaces, launching travel campaigns to cut down on petrol usage and providing cycling courses in schools.

Government environment agency Defra has overseen the council’s latest air quality report and recommended the town’s status be revoked as it shows pollution is ‘far below objective levels’.

But it added the council should look to identify new ‘hot spots’ in the district.

A focus on nitrogen dioxide – which transport largely contributes to – saw Wood Street, Grove Road, Tiddington Road and Greenhill Street named as some of the worst areas.

Last year’s overall reading showed Studley was the only area which exceeded pollution levels.

But some figures throughout winter also went higher than recommended during some months in Stratford – thought to be due to the cold weather which does not allow pollutants to disperse easily.

Lib-Dem spokesman Coun Peter Morse said: “I’m disappointed that it looks as the town’s AQMA will be dropped. This does not remove the need for action on air pollution and we’ll be pressing for an action plan for the town.”

The councillor suggested earlier in the year that a number of developments and increased traffic could impact pollution levels.

But an extract from the report argued: “Even with significant new development identified in the core strategy, key pollutants are projected to remain below national air quality objectives up to 2028.”

It suggested residents can help by using alternative travel including buses, walking and cycling.

The status is set to be discussed during a meeting tomorrow(Friday).

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