Horsham District Council has said it is ‘working to improve air pollution levels’ after high levels were reported in some areas of the district.
Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on Monday (January 23) recorded ‘moderate’ to ‘high’ levels of air pollution in Storrington during January.
Horsham District Council says this has been a problem throughout the district for more than 20 years but is working to reduce it.
A spokesman for Horsham District Council said: “Regarding particulate matter (PM10) specifically, the council is working to address this pollutant through measures aimed at reducing emissions from road transport and, in particular, through increasing the uptake of low emission vehicles. All new development in the district is required to have regard to the Planning Advice Document: Air Quality and Emissions Reduction Guidance (published in May 2014), which sets out air quality mitigation/offsetting measures commensurate with its size/predicted impacts.
“The council has also supported the development and maintenance of the regional eV charge point network “Energise” with two points in the district classified as ‘rapid’ - installed in Billingshurst (Six Bells car park) and Storrington (Library car park).”
HDC said these figures relate to a period of cold, still and foggy weather which can lead to higher levels of air pollution.
The spokesman added: “As the air pollution in Storrington is predominantly traffic related it has been important for Horsham District Council to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council as they are the highway authority. Both organisations together with Storrington and Sullington Parish Council have representatives on the Storrington Air Quality Steering Group.
“Horsham District Council has been working to improve air pollution levels throughout the district for some 20 years. The council started monitoring the quality of air in Storrington some 10 years ago.”
West Sussex was one of eight areas to record ‘high’ levels of air pollution including London and eastern England.
Speaking on the nationwide air quality situation, a spokesman for Defra said: “Widespread moderate levels of air pollution are currently being measured across many parts of England, Wales and Scotland, with localised high levels in London and the South East. Levels in Northern Ireland are expected to remain low.
“Pollution is expected to return to low levels over the whole of the UK on Saturday as winds become more westerly and rain sweeps eastwards.
“We are firmly committed to improving the UK’s air quality and cutting harmful emissions.
“That’s why we have committed more than £2billion since 2011 to increase the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles, support greener transport schemes and set out how we will improve air quality through a new programme of Clean Air Zones. In addition, we announced a further £290m to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels in the Autumn Statement.
“We will update our air quality plans in the spring to further improve the nation’s air quality.”
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