September 16 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Motorists could face traffic calming measures, 20mph limits and residents-only parking in areas of King’s Lynn in a bid to combat high air pollution levels.
It comes after West Norfolk councillors heard that air pollution levels are dangerously high in parts of the town centre and Gaywood.
A report to councillors on the environment and regeneration committee, setting out the proposals, said: “We are aiming to reduce air pollution to levels that do not cause a risk to human health.”
Councillors agreed for the plans to go out to public consultation in August/September.
It will be in the form of using websites and drop-in sessions.
Borough council officer Dave Robson explained: “The air pollution limit is 40 micrograms per square meter of nitrogen dioxide but this year King’s Lynn has been in breach of this by going over to 42-43 micrograms.
“But we did have elevated levels due to the Sahara dust storms earlier this year.
“But the levels are not as high as in 2011 so things have improved with newer cars with lower emissions.
He added: “But we will continue to monitor, review and assess.”
West Norfolk Council has been measuring air pollution in the borough since 2006 and use a number of diffusion tubes all over the town to monitor levels.
They found that the nitrogen dioxide is mostly coming from road traffic, both cars and buses.
And because of this, an air quality action plan has been devised with 20 actions. It includes allowing taxis to use a bus lane from Wisbech Road to Boal Street, encouraging commuters to use the West Lynn Ferry Park and Sail and investigate the possibility of electric car charging points.
There will be an emphasis on promoting walking and cycling so West Norfolk council have will work with Norfolk County Council to improve spaces for cycle lanes and pavements.
Traffic management will be looked at in the busiest areas of the town.
Signals and junctions layouts could be changed along London Road and around the Southgate.
And for the Gaywood clock and south of Wootton Road areas, it could include changes to the timing of traffic signals.
Councillors discussed a park and ride system which split opinion.
Councillor Brian Long said: “It has been done before over a trial period around a dozen years ago. It works with cities such as Norwich as you need dedicated bus lanes. With Lynn being a smaller town, it gets prohibited. It didn’t work back then and I don’t think it will now.”
However, councillor James Moriarty said he was pleased it will be considered. He said: “A park and ride will mean that there are 40 fewer vehicles getting into town.”
West Norfolk council have set up a designated team – the Air Quality Steering Group – to implement the plan of actions.
Other parties who will be consulted include bus operators, Chamber of Commerce, the King’s Lynn Town Centre Partnership and members of the public.
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