Pollution fears over Norwich streets

The whole of Norwich city centre could be declared an air quality management area to help combat the problem of pollution.

There are currently four pollution hot spots in Norwich, which have been declared by Norwich City Council as air quality management areas because of high levels of nitrogen oxide – a pollutant caused by traffic.

Those hot spots are in Grapes Hill, Castle Meadow, St Augustine's Street and Riverside Road and are constantly monitored for pollutants.

While Grapes Hill has improved enough for it to no longer be a hot spot and officers hope the problem in St Augustine's Street will be solved by the new one-way road system, pollution in parts of King Street and Bull Close Road to the north of the city are now so high they meet the criteria to become air quality management areas.

However, City Hall and County Hall officers, are set to ask councillors whether it might make more sense, rather than declaring individual areas, to make the whole of the inner ring road an air quality management area. Andy Watt, head of city development services at Norwich City Council, said that was an approach taken by other councils and would reduce the costly and time consuming process of declaring individual management areas.

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He said it would allow a more 'holistic' approach to traffic management and could see more emphasis placed on the use of park and ride to reduce traffic in the city centre.

The idea was presented to members of Norwich City Council's sustainable development panel yesterday. It is likely to come before the Norwich highways agency committee and the city council's cabinet, which could agree to the change, next month.

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What do you think of the levels of pollution in Norwich? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

Do you have a council-related story? Call Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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