Is The A127 Congestion Charge On A Road To Nowhere In A Bid To Cut Air Pollution?

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The Conservatives failure to act on air pollution is coming back to bite us all and now it proposing what could be considered as a number of vain attempts to cut air pollution on the Basildon stretch of the A127. The proposal of a congestion charge and speed reduction will directly affect us all both in our daily commutes, our leisure time and our local economy.

This Facebook video from the leader of Basildon Council goes on to explain what, as a Council, it is faced with.

Rochford District Council on the other hand it would appear that it has fulfilled its statutory duties, with it’s recently published letter from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment.

Dear Councillors,
 
I am very pleased to say that you will find attached a letter from Dr Therese Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment informing us that we have complied with the Ministerial Direction issued in 2017 in respect of the A127 and National Nitrogen Dioxide Reduction Plan. In April we submitted a report with robust data to demonstrate that the stretch of A127 within the district does not breach EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide and this has been accepted by an independent panel convened by Defra/DfT.
 
Officers will continue work to deliver a number of electric vehicle charging points around the district which were funded by a grant issued by Defra/DfT as part of this project. The first points should be installed within the next 8-12 weeks. Further grant funding received from www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-for-low-emission-vehicles will see the delivery of additional charging points specifically for use by electric taxis later this year.
 
Please note that it is Clean Air Day on Thursday 20 June 2019 www.cleanairday.org.uk, so we will be sending out a number of messages throughout the day.  

Martin Howlett,  Environmental Health Team Leader,  People & Communities, Rochford District Council,

However, the cumulative impact of decisions by Castle Point Council, Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council will directly impact the A127. We need joined up thinking, particularly on housing and infrastructure. This problem has been caused by a ‘too little, too late’ approach. With the Conservatives ever increasing demands for housing targets, it’s about time they sorted out their priorities. It’s high time infrastructure was delivered first instead of constantly reaching for the band aids.

  • The threat of a congestion charge may be just a ruse to make us accept the slightly less controversial reduced speed limit, hoping that the public feel like they’ve had a lucky escape.

    I commute from Rayleigh to the Laindon area every day, and the times when emissions are bad you have no chance of getting near 50mph, let alone the current 70mph limit. The proposed reduction will have no effect at all on emissions, and they want millions of pounds to implement it. Money wasted in order to kick the can down the road instead of taking the big decision to add an extra lane along the whole A127.

    And as for the congestion charge, it would have to be district wide to prevent moving traffic elsewhere. It would be a pain for users, particularly those with little online experience. And they even admit it would be a small charge, which will do little to deter most drivers with little choice but to use their cars (except perhaps those on low income), but it will raise a lot of income for someone.

    How do we stop this insanity?