Chances are if you like to shop in Rayleigh or dine al fresco then you're sure to have been 'touched' by Rayleigh's unseen killer. Rayleigh's killer has been active for more than 6 years with the Tory administration failing to act to bring this 'killer' into check for more than 6 years.
Our town's 'killer' spares no one and it's estimated has claimed between in excess of 20,000 victims in the UK alone. The identity of this 'killer' is toxic nitrogen oxide. With 80% of nitrogen oxide being accounted for by vehicle emissions our constant congestion causes even more air pollution, the required action from our council is well overdue. With the majority of people taking to the private car it's worth remembering that a staggering 97% of all modern diesel cars emit more toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution on the road than the official limit.
With the threat of heavy EU fines, our Tory led council has opened a public consultation into how they might reduce these harmful level's of Nitrogen Oxide that blights our town centre. They are looking for your opinion of the proposed pollution reduction schemes, such as the removal of zebra crossings and replacing them with pelican crossings, car sharing and promoting cycling and walking.
"All residents within the AQMA will receive a letter directly informing them of the consultation, as will the statutory consultees. Statutory consultees include: Essex County Council, neighbouring local authorities, Rayleigh Town Council, Rayleigh Chamber of Trade, Environment Agency, Highways England and Defra"
We are concerned that this consultation will be another demonstration of Rochford District Council's failure to communicate effectively with it's residents and has seemingly 'forgotten' the residents that prop up the local High St economy by not reaching the rest of the community with it's somewhat limited communication effort.
"Apart from consultation on the extent of the AQMA, there has been little engagement with local people in Rayleigh about the AQMA"
It's high time that this issue, that is probably one of biggest public health issues in the country, is taken seriously by our council. We can not afford to be soft on this issue. With a further reduction in acceptable levels due to come into force between 2020 and 2030 we need to take firm, swift action now.
If you want to know more about our views on air quality in Rayleigh and Rochford District please comment below.