MOVES to declare part of a Kidlington street a pollution hot spot could bar lorries from driving around the village, it is hoped.

Cherwell District Council’s executive will be asked to approve an air quality management area (AQMA) for part of Bicester Road on Monday.

It means the council will have to develop an air quality action plan on how it will improve air quality, which one councillor hope will restrict lorries.

A council report said it will work with the Highways Agency – which manages the A34 – and Oxfordshire County Council, responsible for most other roads in the county.

Only these authorities have the power to take decisions to restrict lorries, but the introduction of an AQMA is likely to put pressure on them to do so.

The area covers the length of five homes and Gosford House, a home for eight people with learning disabilities and autism run by Choice Care Group.

About 11,700 vehicles pass each day through the area by the traffic lights near the King’s Arms pub in Bicester Road.

Yarnton, Gosford and Water Eaton district councillor Michael Gibbard said: “There is no doubt this has happened because of the traffic lights.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Michael Gibbard

He said he was concerned lorries are coming off the A34 northbound onto the Bicester Road and using it as a ‘rat run.

Vehicles can cut three miles off the A34 avoiding congestion northbound from the Pear Tree interchange.

He added: “It could be useful as there is a lot of concern about HGVs using that road, which is essentially a side road to get easier access from the A34.

“I believe that a restriction on the number of HGVs using that road would be welcome and would much improve the situation.

“I am pleased that this problem has been identified and look forward to seeing what might be done.”

A year-long 2010 study commissioned by the council found the Bicester Road area had 47.5 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air. Under the Environment Act 1995 levels should not exceed an annual average of 40.

Nitrogen dioxide is an important air pollutant because it contributes to the formation of smog and can irritate the lungs.

The study found daily traffic includes 85 per cent cars, 3.3 per cent large goods vehicles and 1.9 per cent heavy goods vehicles.

The district council executive will also be asked to approve an air quality management area for Horsefair and North Bar, Banbury, which had an annual score of 48.4 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide.

It will be asked to carry out more studies for Kings End and Queens Avenue in Bicester because of changes in the road layout.

  • The executive will meet from 6.30pm at the council’s White Post Road, Bodicote, offices. The public can attend.


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