What is being done locally?
Working to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide on the A339
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs previously instructed Hampshire County Council (HCC) and the borough council to evaluate the impact of reducing the speed limit along a very short section of the A339, between Black Dam Roundabout and the Chineham (A33) turn off, to reduce emissions from vehicles travelling along that road. That government direction has now been withdrawn after air quality in the area was found not to breach exposure levels for Nitrogen Dioxide.
Council fleet improvements
A new fleet of waste collection vehicles took to the roads on 1 October 2018, all of which produce less pollution. We are also investing a further £2m in replacement vehicles for the Street Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance teams. A total of 11 new vehicles were purchased earlier this year and a further six are currently on order. All produce less pollution than their predecessors.
We’re working with the county council to develop a new Transport Strategy aimed at promoting sustainable transport and mobility across the borough. You can read more about the raft of benefits the previous strategy brought to the borough here.
The council has also recently introduced a new taxi licensing scheme which includes a maximum age limit for vehicles and further measures to encourage licenced drivers to switch to low emission vehicles will be considered.
Our Local Plan is designed to provide homes in close proximity to services and jobs, so reducing the need for commuting. We cannot, and nor would we want to, control behaviour around where people live, work or shop, but it is important that we provide opportunities for those who want to avoid the need to travel for work, shopping or leisure.
Hampshire County Council (HCC) is working with 32 Basingstoke schools to promote active and sustainable travel through the nationally accredited school travel planning ‘STARS’ scheme. Basingstoke schools have access to our Air Quality toolkit as well as a large number of other resources through the My Journey Hampshire website. HCC also works in partnership with the walking charity Living Streets who are currently working with 14 borough schools.
Education and awareness raising with local schools
We worked with HCC to fund air pollution monitoring at two schools - Oakridge Junior School and Hatch Warren School, both of which were experiencing problems with school drop-off and pick-up congestion. The children took an active role in undertaking the monitoring and analysing the results and the results were presented at special assemblies. Monitoring will be undertaken at more schools in 2019.