Our response to the Kibworth Air quality management zone repsonse

22 September 2017

The Harborough Greens have responded to the recent Harborough District Councils consultation on the establishment of a new Air Quality Management Area in Kibworth.

 

Here is our response  (Download as a PDF here)

 

Kibworth Air quality management zone consultation response.

Air quality is a very urgent issue for the community of Harborough District and the Country as a whole. Air quality issues have many causes and differing effects but that range from the pea soupers that affected London and out major citys early in the last century through to the emission of dioxins from incineration and “Energy from waste” plants and the creation of ground level Ozone when the wind blows continental Europes pollution over the UK, particularily affecting Harborough in its valley setting.


With regards to this consultation only NOXs (Nitrogen Oxides) are being considered. NOXs are particularly harmful to those with respiratory issues. The major contributor to these pollutants locally is road Transport.
Action must fall into two separate categories


Prevention
Reduce the volume of traffic
Road layouts and priority changes lay with the County Council and so will not feature in this submission apart from to mention that the norm is that additional road capacity often attracts more traffic volume.


Without an analysis of journey types, where journeys originate from and their destination, it is difficult to predict how these volumes can be reduced. There are however interventions that could be made.


The currently forming Harborough Development Trust has an idea for a cheap traffic monitoring network which could help provide information on journey types.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/678n1qnx9q40ndp/Harborough%20Traffic%20monitoring%20Network.docx?dl=0


Council brokered car share scheme
As a trusted body the Council could help with the establishment of a local car share/journey matching scheme to reduce the number of car journeys.


(Electric) Car club
To reduce the need to car ownership within Harborough and other towns across the district a car club can be set up giving people access to vehicles when the need them and that are more efficient or zero emission vehicles that they may not normally be able to afford.


EV Charging stations with free parking
Introduce free parking spaces for 2 hours with charging points for electric cars only to encourage the take up and use of these zero emission vehicles across the district.


Better Train services
Petition for better and more affordable train service with return services late enough to ensure that the train is an option for people travelling to Leicester for the evening or for secondary education.


The last train is currently 21:58


Petition for the electrification of the Midland Mainline from Kettering to Leicester and beyond to reduce the background pollution levels suffered by our local populations.


Better Bus services
Petition for better bus services utilising low or zero emission vehicles


Last Arriva X3 service 18:15
Last Stagecoach X7 service 20:20


Most of the very best performing bus services in the UK are publicly owned, as the Government has now banned Councils from establishing new bus companies through the Bus Services bill clause 21 Harborough District Council cannot form a new bus company but could help establish an arms length not-for-profit cooperative one that would tailor its offering towards actual local requirements.


One example would be https://thebiglemon.com/


Mitigation
Roadside planting
Various studies have shown that strategic planting of trees can help reduce pollution levels through the absorption of polluting gasses and the by the interception of particulate pollution by the trees structure.


https://laqm.defra.gov.uk/laqm-faqs/faq105.html


Questions Raised
Is there a prevailing wind issue to be considered in that the tubes to the south of the road register higher readings than those on the North side.

The AQMA has been defined around the monitoring points, should these not be extended with the provision of additional monitoring sites until they reach a point where the air quality limits are not exceeded and the AQMA extended in accordance with these results.

Why can no weight be given to pollution levels and road capacity in Planning guidance?