My comments for the AQAP consultation

Here’s what I said in my comments in the consulation for the Air Quality Action Plan. Consultation continues through the 15th of August.

See the draft AQAP and comment here: (If you haven’t previously registered on the Consultation portal, you’ll need to do so.)

I could have just referred them to my previous blog posts.

Do you have any comments on the actions proposed?

At the most recent Scrutiny Cttee meeting, it was made very clear that the only area where air pollution currently exceeds the EU threshold is Botley. (There was some confusion and error about Marcham, but that is being handled separately.) Abingdon does not currently have air pollution above the threshold, so no action is required there.
I represent the people of Botley, and I have been asking for this Action Plan for the past year. For that long wait, we are rewarded with only one suggestion about how to improve the air quality where I live: build a higher wall between the A34 and homes nearby. A disappointing effort that couldn’t have taken more than an hour to produce.
For Botley, surely professionals in air quality management would have more suggestions?
There are many, many potential solutions for Abingdon, where the Cabinet member has said no probem currently exists.
I’ve heard some councillors sigh as they shake their heads. ‘It’s very hard.’ Yes, it is. Low hanging fruit has alreeady been plucked, and now the brave work has to begin. in my opinion, it is not an option to do nothing. Excess pollution affects peoples health and lives. In fact, aren’t we legally lliable to take mitigating action? The Vale must seek collaboration from the other stakeholders and find some solutions.

Are there any other actions that we should pursue?

Plant lots of trees. Trees are demonstrably successful at absorbing air pollution between roads and houses.
Ban polluting vehicles from the A34. Have them go round the ring road.
Promote in some creative way low emmmission vehicles.
The report says pollution comes from the A34. It’s not clear how this is known, beyond it being the obvious source. (Certainly the poluuted areas are next to the A34). What about diesel vans on Westminster Way?
Ban HGVs and LDVs on Westminster Way.
Slow down traffic on the A34.
Put a cover over the A34 to contain pollution and treat it before expelling it into the air.
Have a solution contest and give a good prize to the best idea.
Get the view of experts. We aren’t unique here in Botley. Surely there is something that can be done.