“We, the Lib Dems are vigorously challenging the council’s approach to air quality measurements.”




James Newport writes about it on his blog:

“All these cars on our roads have led to Rochford District Council declaring in February 2015,  Rayleigh Town Centre becoming an air quality management area (AQMA) due to the levels of  vehicle exhaust emissions. More than 18 months on, the air quality targets are NOT being met. I’ve questioned why London Road, Down Hall Road & Rawreth Lane are not included in the AQMA as we all see the volume of traffic queuing on these roads frequently. Is it because the council’s own policy restricts new residential development in air quality management areas and these were the areas destined for development under the core strategy?”

Full article here.

About the author, admin

  • Interesting to read your comments and thoughts James.

    Interesting because other than Cllr Stanley, none of the remaining 3 Lib Dem councillors (including yourself) attended either of the recent Review Committee meetings where this issue was being discussed, at length, with both officers and portfolio holders in attendance to answer members questions and scrutinise the relevant report.

    If you, or any other member for that matter felt so strongly about this issue, then perhaps they would be well advised to attend such meetings in order to raise any questions they may have with the relevant personnel.

    As chair of the Review Committee, I felt this was an important issue back in May when we agreed the committee’s work plan for the year ahead and would advise anyone concerned about this issue that progress is being closely monitored.

  • On the subject of Highways –
    This morning ( for at least 20 minutes ) a multi-car Transporter was parked
    up on the highway ( top of Hambro Hill ) opposite the entrance to a Depot.
    Seems he turned up before the Depot was open and there is’nt enough
    entrance area to park off road so, apart from causing morning traffic mayhem he posed a distinct hazard ( it is a blind bend due to Oak tree ) on a foggy morning.
    That road is’nt suitable for such vehicles , they churn up the road surface at
    the junction with Hockley Rd when executing a nigh on impossible turn and
    a distinct hazard when tight turning into the depot ( on a blind bend ). As a
    minimum the Depot owners need to create room to park off road……Admin –
    Who is the relative Councillor please?.

  • Jamie Burton rather than trying to score cheap debating points I would like to know what as a ward councillor for high road/high street what you are proposing to correct a very real concern

    Also as Chair of the review committee what measures you are planning to alleviate the problem across the whole District

    Finally the first step is expand the AQMA, as I live on the Eastwood road I would like measuring devices placed along the road to obtain monitoring data to assess the extent of the problem . I believe monitors are under £20 so when can this be done. (Hockley road and London road are also bad).

  • This is a very important issue which James and the lib-dems are raising so I am disappointed that Jamie Burton feels the need undermine the argument with his comments

    What would have been better would be a report on how and what the council is doing to address the issue

    The first step surely is to extend the monitoring area with what is a relatively cheap technology

    Roads in rayleigh like London Road, Downhall Rd, rawerth lane, Eastwood Rd, Hockley rd are all areas with constant static traffic where Air quality is poor.

  • James, you can measure air quality until you are blue in the face ( literally) but what exactly do you propose that would actually cut pollution levels ? And yes, we all want to drive electric vehicles that charge in 30m and have a range of 1000 miles but that’s not going to happen anytime soon is it. So, as said, I await the list of people giving up their cars, maybe you could lead the way….

  • So Oz , your strategy seems to be if you have an illness don’t endevour to cure it – I think the clear message here is that there is already a problem so
    don’t make it worse with ever increasing development ( no therefore traffic ).
    And because we are dealing with an authority that won’t face up to it we have to demonstrate the problem by measuring it to prove it – simple process.
    Yes no vehicles would cure it , but that just is’nt going to happen is it , with no
    meaningful public transport alternative. So don’t knock those who are trying .

  • Jim, I promise you I am not knocking it…I’m a realist, yes let’s do something but where are the actual proposals. You are a former Project Manager and will be well versed in conducting root cause analysis. So here’s mine….too many people.

    • Well we have’nt had a scrap for a while , so thought I would get you going (lol).
      Truth is that the absolute root cause is human nature ( as you point out – no
      volunteers for giving up their own cars ) on a number of levels :-
      Since WW2 generations have moved out of London for somewhere more
      affordable to live ( say Essex ) but most have to travel to/from the capital to
      earn enough. For years the train services have been overloaded / growing
      more costly which encourages car usage instead , people who do work locally have very limited public transport so also turn to using the family car for work.

      At some point ‘quart won’t fit a pint pot’ , so you cannot continue to pour more in ( 70,000 + new homes currently planned for SE Essex over 15 years )
      without proportional spend on the various Infrastructures – no sign of that.

      It should be obvious (but not to the local authorities apparently) so class action is the only way – make a noise ( RAG) / monitor emissions to make them
      take notice . But human nature takes over again , lots of opinions but not
      prepared to do anything about it……..

  • And….here are my proposals,

    1. Cut the 12.2 BILLION pounds we give to other countries and spend the money on UK infrastructure.

    2. Impose a tax / charge on households that have more than one car registered at that address.

    3. Only pay child benefit to one child, further children to be funded by the parents.

    So, there we go, actual proposals, or we could go and measure air quality and spend the rest of the time moaning that something should be done.

  • There are proposals in the pipeline for the Town centre but agree there should also be some investigation into other roads. What could also help is large delivery vehicles using service areas not the main road and switching off when doing so. Nisa opposite the library.

  • Might I suggest Hambro Hill to the list? Engines work harder when going up the hill and that’s when NOX and soot emissions are at their highest. This gradient, coupled with high traffic makes the road an air pollution hotspot.

    A scientific way of doing this would be ranking the roads based on this formula: (Number of residents)*(Average traffic over a week)*(Gradient of the road).

    All the roads in the district should be ranked on this formula. If budgetary constraints limit the number of measurement spots, then only the top ones from this list should be selected regardless of party/boundary politics.

  • OZ – I’m not moaning about it, we want to show good reason for not ‘plonking’ another lot of houses in areas that simply can’t take them. Traffic, we can see – pollution we can not? We’ve come up with some ideas that have been given to the council. We should see safer cycling routes (I know you’re a personal fan of cyclists), public transport should be affordable and reliable (ever taken a family of four by train anywhere? Prices are eye watering). We should be educating people about pollution and environmental issues from a young age. We should be promoting car sharing schemes (how many cars do you see with one person in them)? We all know the roads in Rayleigh were not designed for this level of traffic. You simply can not keep adding vehicles to the roads and expect there to be no consequences – and I would ask you does taxation of the motorist really reduce numbers? Petrol, which is already heavily taxed, keeps going up. Do we see a decrease in the number of road users?

  • James, I can see that you have thought about your response but….you ( and no other contributor for that matter ) have addressed the fundamental problem. Too many people living on a small island. There are three issues:

    * People living longer.

    * What seems like completely uncontrolled immigration to the UK ( Net migration has stayed near record levels, standing at 335,000 in the year to June, the Office for National Statistics has said. )

    * People having 2, 3 or 4 children without any thought whatsoever of the impact of those additional people on the UK.

    Add that lot up and we are all going to be sitting in traffic for years to come…I might even buy a bicycle…

  • There is a far greater menace that stalks these pages…that blasted pop up trying to get me to sign up for a newsletter….Admin…enough already, no more !

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}