Derby City Council has announced its preferred option to tackle roadside emissions, and are asking local residents and businesses to give their views, and shape the local air plan that will be submitted to government at the end of the year.

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 roadside Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions, 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.  Of the options set out the overwhelming support was for option one with just under three quarters of respondents (73.6%) agreeing with the main measures set out.

Careful consideration has been given to all the feedback received in order to select and refine what option is taken forward, as well as the further evidence emerging from the feasibility study.

Residents and local businesses are now being encouraged to take part in the next consultation, which gives detailed information on the traffic management measures for Stafford Street, which include:

  • changes to the junctions at either end of Stafford Street to restrict traffic flow in the most sensitive area
  • changes to improve capacity at the Ashbourne Road / Uttoxeter Old Road junction to help provide alternative route choices
  • traffic management measures to support alternative routes such as Uttoxeter Old Road
  • supporting measures including an incentive scheme to rapidly support changes in vehicles, initiatives to implement electric vehicle power points, along with further investment in cycle routes, and cycling provision.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Leadership, Regeneration and Public Protection and Deputy Leader of the Council said:

“From day one of taking control of the council, we have made it a very high priority to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in the city.

Since then, officers have worked incredibly hard to prepare options for consultation and to work towards a legally compliant package of measures.

The Council indicated in the consultation that option one was the preferred option, and it is encouraging that we have received substantial support on from the public.

The message was very clear that charging motorists and business to enter a Clean Air Zone was not supported nor would it be the right solution for Derby despite other local authorities pursuing charging schemes.

For our city, option one is deliverable in the quickest possible time and directly addresses the exceedance in Stafford Street.

Moving forward, 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 round of consultation.

The Council will consider all responses, which will help shape the air quality plan that will be submitted to government at the end of the year, to ensure we get the best local solution and which also meets our legal requirements.

I would also like to make it clear the work to address our legal responsibilities in regard to Nitrogen Dioxide will not be the end of the councils efforts to deliver cleaner air across the City. That is a long-term commitment under the current administration and we will be seeking ongoing support from government to help to deliver it.”

The consultation will open on Wednesday 31st October, and close at midnight on Wednesday 21st November.  The best way to respond to this consultation is online where you will also find a number of supporting documents with more information.  Paper copies are also available – to obtain a copy, email air.quality@derby.gov.uk

A public event has also been set up in the Council Chamber on Thursday 15th November, from 1.00pm – 7.00pm, and there will be a number of representatives available to answer any questions.