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Swale council gets approval from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for air quality action plan

Government environment officials have approved Swale council’s air quality action plan.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gave the go-ahead for the five-year scheme after cabinet members gave it their backing in March. The council declared a climate emergency in June.

Government officials have signed off Swale council's air quality action plan. Stock image
Government officials have signed off Swale council's air quality action plan. Stock image

The 54-page document explains how staff will tackle the borough’s air quality management areas - East Street and St Paul's Street in Sittingbourne, the A2 in Newington, London Road in Teynham and Ospringe - where levels of nitrogen dioxide are above the annual target.

It will focus on HGV restrictions, school and business travel plans and action to tackle pinch point parking on the A2 - where vehicles park at the side of the road blocking free flowing traffic.

The report said: “Our key priorities are to develop measures which deliver compliance of air quality objectives.

“We have identified measures which target reductions in remissions from vehicle fleets (HGV, LGV and cars), smooth traffic flows, reduce congestion and protect local communities.

“We recognise there are a large number of air quality policy areas that are outside our influence, such as vehicle emissions standards agreed in Europe.”

Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Tim Valentine (Green)
Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Tim Valentine (Green)

Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Tim Valentine (Green), said: “The plan outlines how we move towards a borough with cleaner air, particularly along the A2 corridor where air pollution is at its worst. We are committed to working with residents to reduce air pollution and secure a healthier environment to live.

“Now the plans are signed off we are one step closer to a cleaner borough, and can get to work tendering for the feasibility study early next year.”

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