Revised air quality plan sees two Chichester management areas declassified

Chichester District Council has started to implement its revised Air Quality Action Plan, which will see two of the district’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) revoked as their pollution levels have dropped.

Chichester has declared four such areas since 2006 – in parts of St Pancras, Orchard Street, the Stockbridge A27 roundabout and Rumbold’s Hill, Midhurst.

Local Authorities are required by law to declare AQMAs in areas where national air quality standards are not likely to be achieved, with action plans having to be revised every five years, reports the Chichester

A council meeting this week was told that the nitrogen dioxide levels in Orchard Street and Stockbridge were now ‘comfortably compliant’ with the required standards and their AQMAs could be ‘undeclared’.

This does not mean that air quality monitoring in either area will stop – they will simply no longer be highlighted problem zones.

As well as revoking the AQMAs, an air quality monitoring station at Lodsworth, which measures ozone – not a statutory pollutant – will be decommissioned.

The Air Quality Action Plan was put out to consultation in May and June 2021, attracting around 380 responses.

As for the rest of the plan, a report to the meeting said: “The majority agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to continue with a range of actions to improve air quality in the district.

“The majority agree with ideas to introduce anti-idling campaigns and e-bikes and a green carpool for council staff to make work-related journeys.

“Likewise, the majority strongly agreed with actions proposed to tackle particulate matter in the district.”

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