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Removing Sudbury parking spaces will reduce pollution, action plan says

PUBLISHED: 15:42 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 14 October 2019

Cross Street in Sudbury, where six parking spaces will be removed from next year Picture: Google Maps

Cross Street in Sudbury, where six parking spaces will be removed from next year Picture: Google Maps

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Parking spaces in Sudbury are to be temporarily removed from early next year in an attempt to improve air quality for residents and pedestrians.

A joint air quality action plan between Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council has suggested removing six short stay parking bays in Cross Street.

The removal of the bays would result in a significant removal of air quality due to reduced slowing, queuing and accelerating, the plan says.

The bays will be removed as part of an experimental traffic order from January 2020 to June 2021.

In 2011, Cross Street was designated an air quality management zone due to a high concentration of nitrogen dioxide, exceeding the national standard.

However, it is hoped that the level of nitrogen dioxide will reduce below the air quality objective of 40µg/m3 when the bays are scrapped.

Alternative free parking will be located in Mill Lane while the 18-month traffic order is in place.

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A decision on whether the bays will be permanently abolished will be made in Summer 2021, while Sudbury residents will be able to provide feedback online when the traffic order is in effect.

Mary Evans, cabinet member for transport at Suffolk County Council, said: "I welcome this work to explore a significant reduction in pollution on Cross Street in Sudbury, which has been a long-standing issue within the town.

"It is not acceptable that the level of nitrogen dioxide exceeds the national health standard.

"Something needs to be done for local residents and pedestrians, which also includes many families walking to the nearby primary school.

"I would like to ask members of the local community to provide us with their feedback on the proposal as they will be part of the final decision making process."

Michael Holt, cabinet member for economic growth at Babergh District Council, added: "I am pleased this work is taking place.

"Babergh, along with the county, have been working together to monitor air quality in the area and look at viable traffic solutions. We know the main issue is focused on two small sections of the street where short stay parking bays cause a narrowing effect on the road and a concentration in pollution, which is why we're exploring whether the air quality can be improved by removing the bays.

"I'd encourage anyone living in the local area to have their say on the proposals, which form part of our air quality action plan."

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