Plan of action for pollution hot spots

Hennef Way, in Banbury is an air pollution hot spot. NNL-160113-095734001
Hennef Way, in Banbury is an air pollution hot spot. NNL-160113-095734001

A draft plan to tackle air pollution hot spots in north Oxfordshire is to be discussed by councillors next week.

An air quality action plan has been put together by Cherwell District Council (CDC) and outlines actions the authority plans to take to improve air quality in the district between 2016 and 2020.

The plan is to go before CDC’s executive committee next Monday, which will decide whether to put the draft report out to public consultation.

Four pollution hot spots have been earmarked for action in the document, including Hennef Way, and Oxford Road to Southam Road in Banbury, where the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) in the air exceeds recommended levels.

The report blames traffic emissions for these increased levels, particularly fumes from diesel cars with light goods vehicles making up the second highest proportion.

The national target for air pollution is 40 microgrammes of NO₂ per cubic metre (µg/m³). The level at Hennef Way is 59.8µg/m³ while between Oxford Road to Southam Road levels are at 40.9µg/m³.

The report lists a number of measures which could be taken to reduce pollution levels at each location including:

> Requiring major developments to include strategies to mitigate air pollution;

> Encouraging the use of low emission vehicles as taxis;

> The creation of a park and ride service for Banbury from the M40 junction;

> Encouraging employees, particularly those travelling from Brackley to Banbury, to use lift share schemes;

> Promote the use of rail, and;

> The creation of a Banbury-wide car club.

Hot spots have also been identified in Bicester and Kidlington.