Next Wednesday, Council Cabinet will consider a report which proposes a range of traffic measures to tackle air quality problems caused by roadside emissions in the city.

The Council has been liaising with DEFRA since December 2015, after being informed that Derby was one of five local authority areas selected to take forward action to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions from vehicles, in the shortest possible time.

On 30th July 2018 the Council launched an eight week consultation, presenting three options to reduce NO2 with supporting measures:

Option 1 – focused on traffic management measures to address the specific exceedance without any charges for road users.

Option 2 – proposed a charge for drivers of non-compliant vehicles if they entered a zone within the inner ring road.

Option 3 – proposed a charged for zone for non-compliant vehicles if they entered a zone within the outer ring road.  This option is the baseline model required by government, for other proposals to be tested against.

In that time, over 2,500 people took part in the consultation exercise, many of whom have provided extensive feedback on how they think air pollution, specifically from roadside emissions should be tackled over the coming years.  We’ve listened to their views and taken on board suggestions to ensure that the best option is taken forward.

As a result, Cabinet are now being asked to approve option one as the preferred option to take forward.  A further consultation is proposed to set out more detail of the traffic management plan for Stafford Street.  The plan will include changes to the traffic signal timings at the junctions at each end of Stafford Street to control the volume of traffic using the specific street.  In addition there will be a need to implement a new urban traffic management and control system across a wider area of the city, which will optimise traffic flow on adjacent routes.  It is also likely that physical changes will be required to specific junctions, to support the traffic signal changes and provide some mitigation for traffic using alternative routes.  Details will also be provided of the air quality model results, and the predicted change to traffic flows.  This consultation will also include additional measures to be included in the Clean Air Fund bid, which aims to have a wider beneficial impact.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of the Council said:

“We have made it our priority to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in the city, and officers worked very hard to prepare options for consultation to ensure we are working towards a legally compliant package of measures.

The Council indicated in the consultation that Option 1 was the preferred option, and it is encouraging that we have received substantial support on this option from the public.  This is the option that is deliverable in the quickest possible time and directly addresses air quality in Stafford Street.  We all have a part to play in achieving cleaner air for Derby and I encourage residents, local businesses and stakeholders to take part in the next period of consultation to help inform the best local solution for our city.”

Details of the upcoming consultation will be announced in the next few weeks.