15 May 2019 - Councillors have discussed plans for a non-charging Clean Air Zone to the north of Basildon and a reduction of the speed limit on a stretch of the A127 as part of a package of measures to improve air quality.

Basildon Council's Urgent Decisions and Staffing Sub Committee met last night (Tuesday 14 May) to discuss the plans, which were developed after the Government told a number of local authorities across the country, including Basildon, that they needed to tackle air quality hotspots in their areas.

Tests found that that a section of the A127 between east and west Basildon, and parts of the business area to the south of it, has poor air quality that breaks national safe limits. The proposals discussed by the council's committee meeting on 14 May outlined plans to:

  • Introduce a 50mph speed limit along the A127 from Fortune of War to Pound Lane junction
  • Introduce penalty charge notices to allow the borough to issues fines to tackle engine idling within the proposed non-charging Clean Air Zone
  • Offer businesses within the zone advice and support on upgrading to cleaner vehicles, installing electric charging points and encouraging their staff to travel more sustainably
  • Increase electric charging points in the proposed non-charging Clean Air Zone and:
  • Improve cycling routes in the area. Councillors agreed to the plans, subject to public consultation and funding from Government being made available. A public consultation will be held later this year in relation to the proposed reduction in the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph on parts of the A127 and the introduction of fines for engine idling in the proposed non-charging Clean Air Zone.

Cllr Kevin Blake, Vice Chairman of the Urgent Decision and Staffing Sub Committee, said: "Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health that we face in our local community, and so we support the local actions which will help us to address the issues we've identified. The proposed non-charging Clean Air Zone, alongside our other planned local transport improvements, will help us improve the air we breathe in Basildon."

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