years and have been reviewed to ensure that the current pollutant levels are taken into account and that the right plans are in place to deal with the current obstacles. This has led to a new Joint Air Quality Action Plan for both districts, and the council would like to hear what local organisations and residents think of it.
The good news is that in the last five years most places have seen a consistent reduction in one of the main pollutants which is measured, Nitrogen Dioxide
This is specifically good news for Wallingford, Watlington and Abingdon. All three areas have seen the levels of pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fall below the national objective level (40µg/m3) over the past three to five years. Following this, in accordance with Defra’s government technical guidance, the proposal is that they will no longer be designated Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). Air quality monitoring will continue at those places.
This improvement can be attributed to a number of factors, including the work of previous air quality action plans, a change in behaviour with more people working from home and the use of cleaner vehicles such as electric vehicles.
Other proposals include promoting:
- walking and cycling
- the use of low emission vehicles
- increased use of public transport
The priorities for 2023-27 include reducing traffic emissions within the remaining three AQMAs – Botley and Marcham in Vale and Henley in South Oxfordshire.
The councils would like residents’ views on the action plan and have devised a survey to collate opinions.
- The survey is available here and opens on national Clean Air Day (15 June) and runs until 27 July.