Stratford St Andrew: Defra calls for air quality action on A12 after pollution level is exceeded
- Credit: Peter Norris
Experts are to draw up an action plan to combat air pollution on part of the A12 where residents are campaigning for a bypass.
Following concerns about the air quality due to emissions from vehicle exhausts, Suffolk Coastal has been monitoring the levels of nitrogen dioxide along the A12 at Farnham, Little Glemham and Stratford St Andrew for the past three years.
Villagers are calling for a bypass to be built because they claim the road through their communities will not be able to cope with the construction traffic for Sizewell C and that, as well as traffic danger, the air quality will also get worse.
Nitrogen dixoide is known to irritate the airways of the lungs, reduce immunity to lung infections and cause the increased likelihood of respiratory problems. It can increase the symptoms of those suffering from lung diseases, such as asthma, and older people with heart disease.
The council said the surveys had shown no problems with pollutiion on the A12 except for one location at a group of four homes – Long Row in Main Road – in Stratford St Andrew, where air quality targets were consistently exceeded.
Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has now said the area should be declared an official Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and the council will have to draw up plans to reduce the pollution and improve air quality.
Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the green environment, said: “We now need to carry out a further assessment of the air quality and have to report back to Defra within 12 months.
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“The council is also required to produce a written action plan within 18 months, setting out what measures we will introduce to try to cut levels of nitrogen dioxide.
“The action plan will be produced in conjunction with Suffolk County Council, which is in charge of the A12 trunk road, and will set out what measures are available to help reduce the pollution level within the area.”
Community groups and councils can send comments on the AQMA to Environmental Protection at Suffolk Coastal, Melton Hill, Woodbridge IP12 1AU, or email firstname.lastname@example.org