A134 Sicklesmere Road in Bury St Edmunds to get pollution action plan after high figures recorded
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St Edmundsbury Borough Council has said it is committed to improving pollution in Bury St Edmunds after Sicklesmere Road was found to have “above acceptable levels” of nitrogen dioxide.
A consultation in October last year found high levels of pollution in a portion of the road, prompting the council’s licensing and regulatory committee last week to approve a new Area Quality Management Area (AQMA).
AQMAs are put in place when air quality surveys show that pollution levels are too high or are likely to exceed target numbers.
It then requires authorities to put together an action plan to reduce air pollution in that area and make improvements to the quality of air.
A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokesman said: “As part of our environmental health role, St Edmundsbury Borough Council monitors air quality across the borough to ensure that pollutants do not exceed certain levels, and that where they do, action is taken to reduce these.
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“We have been monitoring levels on the A134 Sicklesmere Road in Bury St Edmunds and have found that the levels of nitrogen dioxide being recorded on the stretch outside a small number of homes is above acceptable levels.”
The AQMA is being put in place on the stretch of road parallel to Nowton Road, close to the Rougham Road junction and Southgate Green roundabout.
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With the AQMA now approved, a detailed action plan of measures to improve air quality and continued monitoring of the situation will be put together.
The council has vowed to assess both short and long term solutions.
The spokesman said: “The council is aware that a long term solution to the pollution levels along Sicklesmere Road exists in the form of the proposed relief road associated with the South East Bury St Edmunds strategic development site, also known as Abbotts Vale.
“Having this designation in place will give the council the opportunity to also explore the short term options and greater power to secure funding for projects to improve the air quality both within the AQMA and the wider borough.
“The council is committed to producing a detailed action plan following this declaration and will keep residents informed.”