Suffolk County Council working in partnership with Babergh District Council is proposing to remove six short stay parking bays on Cross Street in Sudbury with the aim of improving air quality in the area for both residents and pedestrians.
Suffolk County Council will be implementing an experimental traffic order to remove the six parking bays from January 2020 until June 2021.
Since 2011 Cross Street has been a designated air quality management area due to a high concentration of nitrogen dioxide, which exceeds the national health standard.
A joint air quality action plan between Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council identified that the removal of the parking bays along Cross Street would see a significant improvement in air quality because vehicles would not be slowing, queuing and accelerating to give way to oncoming traffic, increasing the level of pollution.
It is hoped that with the removal of the bays the level of nitrogen oxide in the air would reduce below the air quality objective of 40µg/m3,
Residents in the affected area will receive a letter informing them about the changes and how they can share their views. Other residents who wish to share their views can do so online at https://www.suffolktraffweb.uk/ once the traffic order is in place.
During the removal of the parking bays alternative free parking can be found at Mill Lane.
Cllr Mary Evans, Cabinet Member for Transport at Suffolk County Council, said:
“I welcome this work to explore a significant reduction in pollution on Cross Street in Sudbury, which has been a longstanding issue within the town.
“It is not acceptable that the level of nitrogen dioxide exceeds the national health standard. Something needs to be done for local residents and pedestrians, which also includes many families walking to the nearby primary school.”
“I would like to ask members of the local community to provide us with their feedback on the proposal as they will be part of the final decision making process.”
Cllr Michael Holt, cabinet member for economic growth at Babergh District Council, said:
“I am pleased this work is taking place.
“Babergh, along with the county, have been working together to monitor air quality in the area and look at viable traffic solutions. We know the main issue is focused on two small sections of the street where short stay parking bays cause a narrowing effect on the road and a concentration in pollution, which is why we’re exploring whether the air quality can be improved by removing the bays.
“I’d encourage anyone living in the local area to have their say on the proposals, which form part of our Air Quality Action Plan”.
The impact on air quality during the experimental traffic order will be assessed after six months and twelve months, with the final results expected to be available in Summer 2021.
A decision will then be made as to whether or not the order will be made permanent.