Durham County Council opens public consultation on Durham City air quality

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Durham County Council have opened a public consultation on an updated Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) for Durham City. The consultation is open until 5PM on Sunday 30th June.

Durham City has been an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) since 2011 due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution from vehicles. 501 AQMAs due to nitrogen dioxide exist across England.

According to Durham County Council, although there have been improvements in air quality in recent years, some parts of Durham City still see levels of NO2 that are higher than the Annual Mean Air Quality Objective of 40 µg/m3, which was set in 2010. Durham County Council uses an automatic (continuous) monitor in Durham City which monitors pollution levels.

Durham City’s initial AQAP, launched in 2011, sought to bring NO2 levels down to national levels. This new revised plan aims to lower and maintain NO2 levels below the national objective, suggesting 21 possible actions.

We need the support of everyone who lives in the city, works in the city or visits the city, as well as businesses

CLLR Mark Wilkes

These actions include increasing the parking capacity of Durham City Park and Ride sites; providing more electric vehicle charging points; and, through a number of ways, improving greater public awareness of the importance of reducing pollution levels.

Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said that to improve air quality and reduce pollution “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 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 shape our work to improve air quality in Durham City for the benefit of everybody.”

The consultation, which closes at 5PM on 30th June, is now encouraging feedback on the plan, and will then produce a final plan once all opinions are taken into consideration.

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