Longer term investment considered as part of air quality consultation
Investing in public transport, better routes for people to walk and cycle and the development of park and ride facilities are among measures being considered as part of proposals for tackling pollution.
Residents, businesses and organisations are being invited to give their views on the potential measures through the ongoing consultation on air quality being run by Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils.
The three councils have been ordered by government to develop a plan for bringing levels of pollution in certain areas to within legal limits in the shortest time possible.
In order to comply with the legal order councils are having to consider some form of charging for some drivers on certain routes to reduce pollution in the short term.
But other measures will also be needed to help ensure people have alternative travel choices, enabling them to make fewer car journeys in the longer term.
Councils are looking at potential measures that would improve opportunities for people to use public transport, to walk and to cycle for more of their everyday journeys.
These measures could include:
- Improved routes for clean buses;
- Road maintenance, including extra investment for pothole repairs;
- More work with schools and parents to help people get to school without having to use the car;
- Work to make it easier and safer for people to walk, including changes to town and city centres to create more pedestrian areas;
- Additional investment in intelligent traffic signals to improve traffic flows and public transport journeys on key routes;
- New park and ride facilities to expand the reach of Metro, bus and local rail services;
- Working with employers to help them implement new working practices and ways for their staff and deliveries to travel;
- Further investment in cycling networks, particularly routes leading to Metro stations, transport interchanges and to local facilities such as schools;
- A charge on employers in Newcastle city centre which provide free parking spaces for their employees; and
- Making Metro services more frequent, reliable and convenient.
People are urged to take part in the consultation to give their views on these potential measures.
The consultation questionnaire as well as further background information on the proposals can be found at www.breathe-cleanair.com.
The closing date for all responses is 17 May 2019.