Rotherham's Council's plans to make Rotherham's air cleaner

Published Wednesday, 5th December 2018
Cllr Read at the electric vehicle charging point on Drummond St
Leader of the Council Cllr Chris Read at one of Rotherham's existing electric vehicle charging points on Drummond St

Responding to the Government’s requirements relating to Clean Air Zones, Rotherham Council has proposed a series of measurements to improve air quality.

Air quality is believed to contribute to as many as 100 deaths each year in Rotherham.* In July 2017 the government announced its first National Air Quality Plan. Based on national modelling, the plan mandated Rotherham and Sheffield to work together to reduce levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in the atmosphere.
 
The Council has been taking steps to improve air quality in Rotherham for many years with sustainable travel initiatives, the planned introduction of electric vehicle charging points, and traffic management zones.
 
However, even with these efforts, a number of locations within Rotherham still have high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, and the Council’s plan to tackle this will be considered by Cabinet on Monday 17 December.  
 
Roads identified as high pollution areas within Rotherham are the Sheffield Parkway (A630), Rawmarsh Hill, Fitzwilliam Road in Eastwood, Wortley Road and Upper Wortley Road.
 
The proposals for these areas are:
 
• Support to enable bus companies to introduce cleaner buses operating on Rawmarsh Hill  and Fitzwillam Road 
• Diversion of a number of buses away from Rawmarsh Hill onto Barbers Avenue
• A ban on HGV vehicles travelling northbound on Wortley Road and Upper Wortley Road towards the M1
• Financial support for taxi drivers and light good vehicles (LGV) drivers to change their vehicles to less polluting ones
• A 50mph speed limit on the Eastern part of Parkway, as part of a scheme to reduce congestion at junction 33 of the M1
 
Measures will need to be in force by January 2021, and will be subject to agreement by the government following a period of public consultation next year. 
 
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, Cllr Emma Hoddinott, said: “These are practical proposals which should ensure that the Council meets its legal requirements whilst keeping our commitment not to propose a congestion charge in Rotherham.  If they are accepted by the Government, these proposals will mean new cleaner buses on key routes, and support for cleaner taxis and light good vehicles, improving air quality whilst also protecting our local economy.”
 
* Public Health Indicator 3.01 Fraction of mortality attributable to particulate air pollution