Air pollution and air quality management
The Environment Act 1995 requires local authorities to review local air quality against a specific list of potential pollutants. The review is carried out in stages.
Erewash completed the third stage review in December 2000. This identified an area of the borough immediately to the east of the M1 motorway in Sandiacre and Long Eaton where the target levels set for nitrogen dioxide were likely to be exceeded. As a result, two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA's) were declared.
Following the declaration of the AQMA's the 4th stage of the review process was undertaken. The purpose of this review is to determine where the pollution is being produced and by inference what can be done to reduce it. The review concluded that the nitrogen dioxide was coming from the traffic on the M1, local traffic on minor roads was not significant. Also there were no significant inputs from large industrial plants, power stations etc.
With the AQMA's in place and the source of the pollution known, an Air Quality Action Plan was drawn up to seek to reduce pollution levels to below the target concentration. The M1 motorway is under the control of the Highways Agency - not Erewash Borough Council and the responsibility for implementation therefore lies with the Agency.
They proposed a widening scheme designed to smooth traffic flows which commenced in 2010 with completion in early 2011. This increased the number of lanes to 4 in each direction and also included a mechanism to implement variable speed limits to ease congestion at peak times. Due to the disruption this large scale work caused, our annual review of local air quality to be postponed.
Following completion of the widening scheme a real-time pollution monitoring station was installed for 12 months. Data from this was analysed and a local bias adjustment factor derived to correct the results from the diffusion tube monitoring programme. Using the bias adjusted data three detailed assessments were carried out for areas of the Borough outside the existing AQMAs. These revealed that there were no exceedances of the annual mean objectives for nitrogen dioxide throughout the Borough including within the existing AQMAs. When practicable further real time monitoring exercise with co-located diffusion tubes to determine a local bias adjustment factor wil be undertaken with the aim of data suporting the revoking the AQMAs.