Friday, 12 August 2022

Strategy fails to offer new solutions

SOUTH Oxfordshire District Council, which is responsible for air quality, has made no recommendations for Henley in its draft low emissions strategy.

The strategy was written by Ricardo, an energy and environment consultant, following public consultation carried out last year.

A total of 200 people responded. Some suggested another bridge across the River Thames or a town bypass while others wanted more green “walls” and incentives for using enviromentally friendly vehicles.

Air quality officer Claire Spendley said that during the consultation the majority of were not aware of existing measures being taken to reduce air pollution in the town.

She said: “When asked what more could be done to address air quality in the town, the suggested actions were either already in an air quality action plan or had previously been considered by the council and deemed unviable. No new viable measures were suggested.” Ms Spendley said her council had “modelled” possible solutions but found the improvements from them would be negligable.

She said: “Low-emission bus or HGV measures would not have a significant impact on air quality in Henley and there were no viable re-routing options for traffic.”

Ms Spendley said the air quality in the town centre, except Duke Street, was expected to improve with measures including investment in the cycling and walking infrastructure, support for public transport, more use of low-emission vehicles and more electric vehicles charging points.

“We think the five general measures will have a positive impact on Henley as will the remaining measures in the air quality action plan,” she said.

“The council is working closely with Oxfordshire County Council exploring the viability of all measures laid out in the strategy. All transport-related measures will be fully assessed prior to a decision to move to any trials.”

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