Pollution solution may take 18 months

FRUSTRATED councillors may have to wait 18 months for plans to be passed on how to reduce emissions in Knaphill.

Woking Borough Council published an Updating and Screening Assessment in April 2012 which highlighted that the level of nitrogen dioxide on Anchor Hill exceeded the national standard, and is not expected to improve.

CONCERN - Denzil Coulson

CONCERN – Denzil Coulson

Following a subsequent Detailed Assessment report in October 2012, inspectors confirmed that the air quality did not meet guidelines and suggested the crossroad junction, where Anchor Hill meets the High Street, be declared an Air Quality Management Area.

No action has yet been taken. Once an AQMA has been declared, the borough council are required to undertake a further assessment to be submitted within 12 months. An Air Quality Action Plan will then be produced within 12 to 18 months.

This will need to provide a detailed description of measures and dates by which the air quality objectives are to be achieved.

But Councillor Denzil Coulson (left), who is a Knaphill resident, thinks the time period for action is too long and wants the issue to become a priority at county level.

He said: “Both Surrey and Woking Councils need to work together on this. A key part of Knaphill cannot be blighted by poor air quality.

“I think it is appalling that it will take them 12 to 18 months to even draft an action plan, let alone do anything about it on the ground.

“The congestion and poor air quality needs to be a much greater priority for Surrey County Council than it is now.”

In March 2013 Woking councillors put forward options to modify the operation of the signals at Anchor Hill.

They included the installation of a system that allows smoother traffic flow, modifying the operation of the pedestrian phases, and a complete reconfiguration of the junction all together.

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