02:30PM, Tuesday 17 October 2017
New buses and cycle lanes could be brought in to tackle poor air quality in Marlow.
Wycombe District Council (WDC) has raised the prospect of a range of measures to deal with the problem as it announced a new public consultation on the issue, which is also plaguing High Wycombe.
On Friday (October 13), the council launched a public consultation to examine plans for three proposed air quality management areas (AQMAs) which are expected to be launched at the end of the year.
Cllr Julia Adey (Con, the Wooburns), cabinet member for environment, said: “Now we know that the air quality in these areas needs to be improved, we want to act quickly to bring the nitrogen dioxide levels back below the national target.
“We have a statutory obligation to monitor the air quality in our area – something we take very seriously, which is why we plan to declare two new air quality management areas in High Wycombe and Marlow to improve the air quality for our residents.”
The council’s cabinet agreed to create the AMQAs last month after an annual air quality report showed levels of nitrogen dioxide exceeded government objectives in several areas in the Wycombe District, including Marlow.
She added: "During this consultation, we want residents and businesses to tell us if they think that the proposed areas are adequate or if they should be extended and if so why.
“We also want to hear about any ideas you have that may help us to improve the air quality."
WDC is required by law to ensure annual levels of nitrogen dioxide are kept below specified levels.
Government guidelines say prolonged exposure to nitrogen dioxide can reduce life expectancy and lung capacity.
In Marlow, two sites in Chapel Street were shown to exceed this according to the council’s data for 2016.
The Marlow AQMA is expected ot take in Chapel Street as far as Little Marlow Road, West Street as far as Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School and the High Street as far as the roundabout between Pound Lane and Station Road.
The council has said it will apply for government grants to help pay for measure such as cycling paths, charging points for hybrid and electrical cars, and greener bus engines.
WDC will also seek views on a new AQMA for High Wycombe and improvements to a third AQMA brought in for the M40 in 2004.
Visit www.wycombe.gov.uk to find out more and take part in the consultation.
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