A breath of fresh air for Great Barton?

Lamp post mounted pollution monitoring equipment in Great Barton
Lamp post mounted pollution monitoring equipment in Great Barton
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Residents living near the traffic congested A143 to the north of Bury St Edmunds have welcomed a proposal to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in their village.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has launched an online consultation on a proposal to re-designate a major vehicle pollution hotspot on the A143 in Great Barton as an AQMA.

Margaret Pettitt, Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan environment lead, said: “This area of the street has been recognised as a serious pollution hotspot for years – it is a known pinch-point and it is near the school and a pedestrian crossing.

“Most of Great Barton’s traffic pollution issues are caused by high volume through traffic – nothing has changed.

“However, for whatever reason, the AQMA status was dropped some time ago and this consultation is about effectively reinstating the monitoring zone so that the issues can be properly assessed and hopefully resolved.

“It is very important that concerned parents and other residents respond to the consultation.”

The council has a duty to declare AQMAs where annual objectives for a number of prescribed pollutants are being exceeded, or are likely to be exceeded.

It states: “Although concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide have reduced during recent years, we are concerned that additional traffic associated with proposed development in the area will have a negative impact on air quality.

“If reinstating the AQMA is successful then we will work with stakeholders to produce a detailed action plan and will form a group to develop the proposed actions and monitor progress.”

The consultation will run until March 3 and is available at: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Council/Consultations/greatbartonairqualitymanagementareaconsultation.cfm.