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Ashley Road to get extra pollution control after failing toxic gas tests
AN area of a busy Poole commercial street, which failed a pollution test, is to be extended.
Air quality tests have found that a larger section of Ashley Road has exceeded acceptable nitrogen dioxide levels.
Borough of Poole’s environment overview and scrutiny committee will on Thursday be asked to extend the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) to under half-a-mile of the 1.2-mile long road.
Last September an area covering the Victoria Cross junction was subject to an AQMA test, with levels of 40-45 micrograms of the toxic gas exceeding the target of 40.
“This exceeded level was almost entirely the result of traffic congestion in this vicinity,” said Shaun Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection services.
Following the declaration of the area, the council was required to undertake a further assessment and produce an action plan.
“The further assessment was completed in September 2012 and has shown an extension of the original AQMA is required, which has also been confirmed by Defra on submission of the report,” he said.
The area will extend in both directions from just beyond Granville Road to the Jubilee Road junction and schemes to alleviate traffic congestion will form the main emphasis of the action plan.
Richard Wilson, chairman of Ashley Road Traders’ Association, whose shop Bookworm Books is near the Richmond Road junction said: “The air quality is bad.
“ If you leave the cleaning for a week you can really see the black dust inside the shop.
“It has been bad for a long time.
“I hope they will do something about it,” he said.
The council has more than £1million from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund to spend on improvements to Ashley Road and is consulting the community to identify problems that need tackling such as congestion, bus services, public spaces, parking and air quality.
“We need to promote public transport and get people to use buses as opposed to cars,” said Mr Wilson.
“And we need more trees, that would hopefully improve air quality.”