New air quality action plan for Chichester district

Chichester District Council’s draft revised Air Quality Action Plan is to be put out to public consultation.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:59 am

The plan – the third since 2008 – gives details of the four Air Quality Management Areas in the district and ways in which the council plans to tackle the issue.

The previous plans have led to schemes being introduced such as the Co-Wheels car club, doubling the number of bike racks in the city centre and delivering policy for the integration of electric vehicles in the council fleet.

During a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (May 4), members agreed the latest plan would be put out to consultation from May 17 to June 28.

Air Quality Action Plans are legally required when an Air Quality Management Area has been declared.

In Chichester, the three problem areas are Orchard Street, St Pancras, and the Stockbridge A27 roundabout, while Rumbolds Hill, in Midhurst, was added to the list in January 2020.

While any air quality issues are cause for concern, the plan said there had been ‘significant’ signs of improvement.

A report to the cabinet said: “Air quality in the district has steadily improved in the last five years and the modelling predicts that this trend will continue.”

In Orchard Street and at the Stockbridge roundabout, things have improved so much that the plan recommends those Air Quality Management Areas be ‘undeclared’ and the Orchard Street air quality monitoring station decommissioned.

Both St Pancras and Rumbold’s Hill are predicted to meet the UK’s Air Quality Standards by 2024.

The consultation will be published on the council’s Let’s Talk page – www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalksurveys – and the results will be reported in late summer/autumn this year.