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Air Quality Management Area

Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)

The Borough of Poole monitor the air quality at numerous locations across its district, however, whilst most areas are showing a downward trend in pollution levels mainly due to advances in vehicle engines and fuels, the levels in some areas  have yet to decrease to below that required of the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 within the required time frame.

Section 83 (1) of the Environment Act 1995 states that a local authority must designate  an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for those parts of its area where air quality objectives are unlikely to be met. Monitoring of air pollutants has shown that the Borough of Poole are therefore required to declare two Air Quality Management Areas within a small area of Commercial Road and Ashley Road due to the fact that the current objective of 40µg/m3 is exceeded for nitrogen dioxide. The current levels of nitrogen dioxide in both areas are recorded at approximately 42-45µg/m3.

Many  other local authorities have declared AQMA’s in some shape or form – with some such as the London Borough’s declaring their whole areas as AQMA’s, with monitoring revealing levels up to twice that recorded in Poole.

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Commercial Road AQMA

Location of the Commercial Road AQMA

Why are the levels exceeding the threshold in the Commercial Road AQMA?

What is being done to improve air quality in the Commercial Road AQMA?

What are the health implications of the Commercial Road AQMA?

Next steps in the Commercial Road AQMA

Location of the Commercial Road AQMA

The AQMA at Commercial Road has been declared on a small stretch between the Station Road and Curzon Road junctions, with the AQMA including the road, pavement and front of the properties. A map of the Commercial Road AQMA can be downloaded using the links to the right of this page.

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Why are levels exceeding the threshold in the Commercial Road AQMA?

Commercial Road forms part of the main A35 link  from Poole to Bournemouth so therefore has a high vehicle flow, however, coupled with the numerous junctions and right hand turns this has created slow moving vehicles on a particularly narrow stretch of road with relatively high buildings each side,  thus not allowing pollutants from vehicle exhausts to fully disperse.

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What is being done to improve air quality in the Commercial Road AQMA?

Measures to improve congestion and air quality have already been completed in this area in 2009, by increasing the capacity at the Station Road junction by an estimated 10-15%.This was achieved through the introduction of a traffic scheme whereby introducing traffic signals on the Station Road/ Commercial Road junction and a controlled pedestrian crossing on Station Road.  Further improvements were also made to the Ashley Cross junction.

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Health Implications of the AQMA

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have been advised on the decision to declare an Air Quality Management Area on a small stretch of Commercial Road. They have provided us with the following advice to residents, workers and shoppers alike:

“Low levels of air pollution are likely to go unnoticed by most of the population.
However, people with heart or lung conditions (including asthma) are most likely to be sensitive to traffic related air pollution, especially if they are elderly.
Increases in air pollution can trigger increased admission to hospital, if you are in a risk category it is advisable to avoid prolonged exposure during periods of peak traffic.”

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Next Steps in the Commercial Road AQMA

The processes following on from designation of an AQMA require the Council to undertake further monitoring, produce an action plan and work to achieve what has been set out in the plan. The Borough of Poole are currently monitoring levels of nitrogen dioxide at numerous locations on this stretch of road, to ascertain the effects of the traffic scheme on air quality.

These results were reported as part of a ‘Further Assessment’ in air quality within this area. The report recommended that the AQMA be extended to include, as a minimum, the properties along Commercial Road where new exceedence of the 2010 objective was identified within the report. However, as no monitoring had been undertaken here, the Borough of Poole decided to undertake a six month diffusion tube  monitoring programme at specific properties.

The results of the six months of diffusion tube monitoring were reported in the Updating and Screening Assessment 2012. The report concluded that  whilst exceedences of the objectives were apparent in this area, the Borough of Poole were not anticipating to extend the area of the AQMA at Commercial  Road. This was largely because an AQMA already exists within the very near  area and an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) was being produced.

The  AQAP will not only focus on the small area of the current AQMA (currently 2 properties), but rather the wider area of Lower Parkstone and Ashley Cross. Thus all measures identified within the AQAP will benefit all the  areas where exceedences have been identified. An extension, of the AQMA would only then be an administrative exercise and would not alter the outcome of the AQAP.

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Ashley Road AQMA

Location of the Ashley Road AQMA

Why are the levels exceeding the threshold in the Ashley Road AQMA?

What is being done to improve air quality in the Ashley Road AQMA?

What are the health implications of the Ashley Road AQMA?

Next steps in the Ashley Road AQMA

Location of the Ashley Road AQMA

The AQMA at Ashley Road was originally declared on a small stretch between the Richmond Road and Mansfield Road junctions, with the AQMA including the road, pavement and front of the properties. Further monitoring within the area revealed that the extent of the AQMA needed to be increased to to  include  all  properties along Ashley Road between 467 Ashley Road and Jubilee Road. A map of the Ashley Road AQMA can be downloaded using the links to the right of this page.

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Why are levels exceeding the threshold in the Ashley Road AQMA?

The sole contributor to slightly elevated air pollution levels in this area is slow moving vehicular traffic. The road is a main link between Poole and Bournemouth but  is also commercial, so a busy shopping area throughout the day with parking and  loading/deliveries on the main stretch of road, often contributing to congestion.

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What is being done to improve air quality in the Ashley Road AQMA?

The Council is planning to consult the local residents in the Ashley Road AQMA regarding potential improvements to the highway that may improve the air quality.  Following the consultation it is anticipated that the improvements will be designed and constructed in 2013/14.

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Health Implications of the Ashley Road AQMA

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have been advised on the decision to declare an Air Quality Management Area on a small stretch of Ashley Road. They have provided us with the following advice to residents, workers and shoppers alike:

“Low levels of air pollution are likely to go unnoticed by most of the population.
However, people with heart or lung conditions (including asthma) are most likely to be sensitive to traffic related air pollution, especially if they are elderly.
Increases in air pollution can trigger increased admission to hospital, if you are in a risk category it is advisable to avoid prolonged exposure during periods of peak traffic.”

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Next Steps in the Ashley Road AQMA

The processes following on from designation of an AQMA require the Council to undertake further monitoring, produce an Action Plan and work to achieve what has been set out in the plan. The Borough of Poole have monitored levels of nitrogen dioxide at numerous locations on this stretch of road, to ascertain the exact levels of nitrogen dioxide at residential properties and commercial units.

These results were reported  as part of the Further Assessment in air quality within this area. Updated  monitoring  and  modelled  results  confirmed  that  the  Ashley  Road  AQMA  was  still required in Poole, as the NO2 annual mean objective was still likely to be exceeded at relevant receptor  locations.

It was recommended that the  extent  of  the  AQMA  be  extended  to  include  all  properties along Ashley Road between 467 Ashley Road and Jubilee Road. The Amendment to AQMA Order 2011 No.2 (Ashley Road) extension came into force on 23 April 2013 and an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) will be produced with the aim of identifying measures that the Borough of Poole could implement to reduce emissions of NO2 within the AQMA and the wider surrounding area.

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Further Information

• For further information on Air quality Management Areas, click the following link:
http://aqma.defra.gov.uk/
• For further information what air quality is like near you, click the following link:
http://www.airquality.co.uk/what_near_me.php

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Contact us

Email
environment@poole.gov.uk

Telephone
01202 261700

Text Relay
18001 01202 261700

Address
Environmental and Consumer Protection
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
Poole
BH17 0NF