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Have your say on Air Quality Action Plan for Durham City

May 17, 2024 | Local News

People are being invited to have their say on an updated Air Quality Action Plan for Durham City.

Durham County Council declared an Air Quality Management Area in the city in 2011 due to elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant associated with vehicle emissions.

Since then, the council has been implementing five-year Air Quality Action Plans setting out the actions it is taking to improve air quality in Durham City.

The updated draft plan is based around 21 actions aimed at reducing nitrogen dioxide levels to below the national objective and then maintaining these lower levels.

The actions include increasing park and ride capacity, supporting the provision of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, and offering businesses a free trial use of EV vans.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, the council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “Tackling air pollution and improving air quality is not something we can do in isolation. We need the support of everyone who lives in the city, works in the city or visits the city, as well as businesses from small enterprises to big employers and bus operators.

“We have already taken lots of actions to tackle air pollution. We recently started expanding our park and ride service and have been using our traffic management signs to promote the service as well as £2 bus fares and active travel.

“We can all do our bit and we’d encourage everyone to help us make our updated Air Quality Action Plan as strong as it can possibly be by responding to our consultation. All ideas and suggestions are welcome and will help shape our work to improve air quality in Durham City for the benefit of everybody.”

Public consultation is now underway, which is an opportunity for people to comment on the draft plan, the actions listed, and suggest alternative measures.

The consultation period runs until 5pm on Sunday 30 June, and all feedback received will be considered before a final version of the plan is adopted later this year.

To view a copy of the draft plan, and complete a consultation survey, visit www.durham.gov.uk/consultation.

Paper surveys of the draft plan and consultation survey are also available from libraries and Customer Access Points.