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Exeter Active Streets pollution data to be shared

Wednesday, 21 February 2024 13:00

By Guy Henderson - Local Democracy Reporter @GuyAHenderson

Car exhaust pollution (Picture courtesy: Matt Boitor/Unsplash)

Call for council to speed up publication

Data on pollution around Exeter’s controversial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods could be released ahead of schedule.

Campaigners trying to bring an end to the ‘Active Streets’ trial in Heavitree and Whipton believe roads around the perimeter of the restricted area are more congested, resulting in more pollution.

They have called for figures to be released months ahead of schedule.

The trial began last summer, with measures put in place to cut through-traffic using residential streets. Supporters say it has succeeded in making the streets cleaner and safer.

They mounted a ‘human bollard’ protest this week, stopping dozens of rogue drivers from cutting through a roadblock near a school which is only intended for buses, taxis and authorised vehicles.

But opponents have lobbied city and county councillors at every meeting since the trial began, and on Tuesday campaigner Ian Frankum addressed a full meeting of the city council.

He said: “Exeter City Council is responsible for the collection of pollution data for the city, and Devon County Council has now confirmed that traffic has increased on all the arterial roads since the trial began.

“I don’t buy the assertion that more traffic, much of it idling, doesn’t mean more pollution.

“When will the newly-installed monitors begin to give meaningful data on current pollution levels?”

Cllr Bob Foale (Lab, Alphington) confirmed that the monitors were now operational and recording data for submission to the government. Its report would normally be published in September each year.

Mr Frankum said he understood that the monitors could provide instant information, and asked: “Please share this data on a more frequent basis, rather than just once a year.”

Cllr Foale told him: “That would be my intention, and I hope that would be the intention of the city council.”

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