Environmental Protection & Services

 

Air quality consultation – Bargate Bridge AQMA – Revocation

Boston Borough Council has two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA’s) within the district known as Haven Bridge Road AQMA and Bargate Bridge AQMA. Boston Borough Council is currently considering the revocation of the Bargate Bridge AQMA that was declared by order under the Environment Act 1995 in 2005. The order was originally declared as a result of a failure to meet national statutory air quality standards at a number of residential receptors in this area with respect to nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant associated in the main with vehicular traffic. Over time however and more particularly in recent years levels of nitrogen dioxide have fallen and there is now consistent compliance with the air quality standard. Haven Bridge AQMA will remain in place.

Further information on the supporting monitoring data and rational behind the proposal can be found here – Revocation of Bargate Bridge

As part of the process of revoking an AQMA the statutory guidance supporting air quality management requires that consultation is undertaken with relevant interested parties and therefore local councillors, public health, neighbours local authority, Lincolnshire County Council and local residents have been directly contacted for their comments. Should you wish to make comments upon our intention to revoke the Bargate Bridge AQMA I would ask that you do so by the 8th February 2021 by emailing environmental.health@boston.gov.uk

Local air quality

Since 1997 local authorities in the UK have been carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their areas. The aim of the review is to assist authorities in carrying out their statutory duty to work towards meeting the national air quality objectives. If a local authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an Air Quality Management Area there.

National perspective on assessing air quality

The LAQM process places an obligation on all local authorities to regularly review and assess air quality in their areas, and to determine whether or not the air quality objectives (health based objectives) are likely to be achieved.  Where exceedences are considered likely, the local authority must then declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place in pursuit of the objectives.

Air quality objectives included in regulations for the purpose of local air quality management in England

European obligations based on exposures to residents (not roadside levels)

Air Quality Objectives 

How we monitor air pollution

We carry out non automatic monitoring within the district using diffusion tubes. Information on diffusion tubes

Summarised data from this monitoring is contained within our review and assessment reports – see below.

Air quality management area’s and air quality action plan

The aim of the review and assessment process is to make sure that the national air quality objectives will be achieved within our district. These objectives have been put in place to protect people’s health and the environment.

If a local authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) there. This area could be just one or two streets, or it could be much bigger. In Boston two such areas were declared for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the Haven Bridge & Bargate Bridge areas. NO2 comes largely from combustion process and source can be both industrial and domestic however the main source of NO2 in both Boston and nationally is the motor vehicle. In both the Bargate & Haven Bridge areas compliance with the national objectives was considered marginal and there was a risk of exceeding the objectives and therefore air quality management areas were declared.

We have put together in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council a plan to improve the air quality following the declarations – this is called a Local Air Quality Action Plan (LAQP). A number of the actions have been completed such as the road widening on the Spalding Road through to Asda to improve traffic flows. AQAP 2020

Lincolnshire County Council and Boston Borough Council has recently published the latest Boston Transport Strategy 2016 – 2032 which gives information on how these authorities in conjunction with other partners will improve accessibilty and a sustainable transport network to support the growth of Boston and tackle air quality issues. Boston Transport Strategy 2016-2032

In addition to local measures contained within the action plan Government has taken measures over time to reduce air pollution and many of these have been aimed at the motor vehicle. The UK Government published a Draft UK Air Quality Strategy May 2017  for consultation in May 2017 and will issue a new plan to tackle poor air quality in the Autumn of 2017.

Air monitoring has demonstrated compliance with the annual mean NO2 objective in all areas in Boston except in the AQMA’s. We will assess concentrations recorded year on year before deciding whether it may be appropriate to revoke the existing AQMAs. 

Air quality and health

If you are in good health the levels of air pollution we usually experience in the UK are unlikely to have any serious short-term effects. But in the rare occasions when air pollution levels are high, some people may feel discomfort and irritation.

People with respiratory conditions are at greater risk, especially if they are elderly. Daily changes in air pollution can trigger increased admissions to hospital and may contribute to the premature death of those who are seriously ill. Those with severe lung diseases or heart conditions might be more sensitive to changes in air pollution.

Long term exposure to air pollution is unlikely to increase the number of people with asthma but people who already suffer from asthma may find their condition adversely affected.

Get the up to date air quality forecast

Latest air pollution data

For further information on air quality and health:

DEFRA – air pollution & health pages

How can I help reduce air pollution?

Consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle when you replace you car

At the Go Ultra Low – Just how far does electric go? website all the facts and information you’re looking for to make an informed decision on choosing an electric or hybrid vehicle is available to you. This is a joint Government and car industry campaign.

Information is available on choosing an electric vehicle (EV), cost savings, charging and range and EV owner’s experiences. It also provides direct links to suppliers of vehicles and opportunities to book test drives of vehicles.

Government provides grants directly to manufacturers to help reduce the cost of some low emission vehicles. This called the .Gov website regarding electric and hybrid car grant scheme.

In addition Government provides grants for Government Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including homeowners.

There are many other ways to prevent and reduce air pollution:

· using less energy at home means that less coal, oil and gas are burnt, and less air pollution is given off

· using public transport, cycling or walking more instead of driving will reduce traffic pollution

· if you need to drive, there are techniques that help you use less fuel, like driving more slowly and smoothly

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