Air quality management in polluted Midhurst road ‘long overdue’

ks170127-1 Mid Congestion   phot kate'Steve Morley concerned by the increasing number of lorries going through Midhurst..ks170127-1 SUS-170703-193021008
ks170127-1 Mid Congestion phot kate'Steve Morley concerned by the increasing number of lorries going through Midhurst..ks170127-1 SUS-170703-193021008

A long-fought for policy to improve air quality in Midhurst could be on the way.

Cabinet members at Chichester District Council are due to consider whether to support a motion to create an air quality management area (AQMA) in Rumbolds Hill.

The report to cabinet states that air quality monitoring data for Rumbolds Hill is ‘unequivocal in suggesting that the declaration AQMA is necessary’ and ‘as such no alternatives are considered appropriate’.

Vice chairman of Midhurst Town Council, Steve Morley has been asking the district council to look into air quality issues in the town for several years.

He said: “While not entirely the district council’s fault, the establishment of an air quality management area in the centre of our town is long overdue.

“I recognise that an AQMA doesn’t guarantee any significant intervention but as a consultee to the exercise, Midhurst Town Council will urge both district and county councils to take all actions necessary to negate this problem.

“As it has always been recognised that the air pollution is caused by vehicle emissions I therefore also look forward to the imminent review of established on-street parking arrangements in our town.”

If the resolution is passed at the cabinet meeting on October 1, the district council will begin a four-week consultation into the issue of air quality in the town.

Once the AQMA is formally established, there will be an ‘integration of actions to improve air quality’ in a revised Air Quality Action Plan in 2020.

Officers have advised that nitrogen dioxide levels measured in Midhurst have been non-compliant with UK standards ‘every year’ since 2015.

Where there is evidence of failing air quality standards, the declaration of an AQMA is a ‘statutory duty’, the report added.