Rayleigh has a cloudy history when it comes to Air Pollution and now the Government has been forced to up the ante to solve the increasing problem with Air Pollution across the UK. Whilst we all probably realise, London suffers with poor air quality, we are in fact (and have been for a long time) facing an illegal limit of NO2 right in our own town.
You may have read my previous posts on air pollution or seen our campaign to increase the air quality monitoring across the district. Now, however the UK Government has launched another consultation on how to reduce the pollution in our towns and cities.
The highlights of the document are the ways in which this could be acheived
- Exploring innovative retrofitting technologies and new fuels;
- Buying ULEVs and encouraging local transport operators to do the same
- Encouraging private uptake of ULEVs via ensuring adequate chargepoints
- Encouraging use of public transport, cycling, walking, park and ride schemes, and car sharing
- Improving road layouts and junctions to optimise traffic flow, for example by considering removal of road humps
- Working with local businesses and neighbouring authorities to ensure a consistent approach
- Charging certain types of vehicles to enter or move within the zone
Now I don't have any prior knowledge of what our local council could be doing about our particular problem (as that would be a Tory decision), other than the already published AQAP - but in the Government's consultation it's suggested that charging vehicles to enter a clean air zone (i.e Rayleigh Town Centre) would be the quickest way to get the problem under control.
On the basis of the failure to act and armed with the knowledge that even OUTSIDE of the AQMA, there are indications from our own sampling that there is more illegal pollution in our town, there is a possibility that we could see a clean air zone set up in Rayleigh with some of the dirtiest polluting vehicles being charged to pass through our town centre.
Watch this space for future developments or sign up below for future updates!