A STEERING group to look into air pollution in Studley is to be set up by Stratford District Council.
One section of the village is the only place in all of south Warwickshire which breaches national objective for levels of nitrogen dioxide, the pollutant pumped out by vehicle exhausts.
It’s an issue that has been running for years; back in 2006 the District declared Studley, which sits on the busy A435 an air quality management area.
Now under promptings from District Councillor Hazel Wright (Lib Dem, Studley & Sambourne) to honour a pledge to develop a new Air Quality Action Plan for the village in 2018, the authority has started to act.
“This has been going on since 2006 so it shouldn’t come as a shock to Stratford yet I feel they have just paying lip service to the issue,” said Coun Wright.
“However with the Redditch Eastern Gateway on its way we want matters to get better, not worse.”
A report to the authority says the current action plan lacks detail and calls for the 2018 plan to include direct measures, for example through traffic management, reduction targets and key performance indicators so its impact is measureable.
Current suggestions to cut pollution from the District Council include local people walking and cycling more, and making greater use of public transport.
“This just won’t do – the District is abdicating its responsibility and putting it on the shoulders of the individual,” said Coun Wright.
“Besides, that’s only for people living in the village, not for the traffic going through.
“They’re counting HGVs but cars are polluting too and there are far more of them.”
In September air pollution was named as the biggest risk to public health in Europe, responsible for the early deaths of some 40,000 people in the UK alone.
A spokesperson for Stratford District Council said: “Air quality monitoring in Studley has shown an improving trend over the last five years.
“However, one particular location on Alcester Road continues to show a slight exceedance in the National Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide.
“We will form a steering group to consider what measures could be delivered to improve air quality and aim to present a draft plan for consultation in early 2019.”