Residents are invited to give their views on the proposed removal of an Air Quality Management Area in Woodbridge, which is no longer required due to significant improvements in air quality.
To meet national air quality objectives, local authorities must regularly review and assess air quality in their areas. If a location is found where the objectives are not being achieved, the local authority must declare the area as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and develop an Air Quality Action Plan to reduce air pollution.
The Woodbridge AQMA was established in 2006 after high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were detected at the junction of Lime Kiln Quay Road, Thoroughfare and St John’s Street. Studies showed that these levels were most likely caused by both moving and idling traffic.
Since this time, NO2 concentrations within the AQMA have decreased and since 2014, have been consistently below the national objective levels.
As a result, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) requested that the AQMA be revoked, and an assessment was carried out in 2021 to establish whether removal of the AQMA was appropriate. Using measurements taken in 2019 and 2020, the assessment predicts future NO2 concentrations within the AQMA over the next 5 years and concludes that the AQMA could be revoked.
These findings were discussed by East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet on 3 May 2022, and it was unanimously agreed to proceed with a public consultation regarding the revocation.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment said: “Poor air quality negatively affects the lives and health of our residents, and it is a priority at East Suffolk to consider air quality in our policy formation. It is great news that the air quality at this site has significantly improved to such an extent that the Air Quality Management Area is no longer necessary. This proves with some focus and thought we can make positive improvements in our environment.
“If the area is revoked as recommended by Defra, we will continue to monitor air quality at this junction, as we do across the whole of East Suffolk. We are not anticipating an increase in nitrogen dioxide levels at this location but if this does occur, I can reassure residents that we will be ready to take quick and appropriate action.”
This consultation is now closed.
Residents living in and around the area covered by the Woodbridge AQMA have been contacted directly for their comments.
All comments received will be taken into consideration and published.