AIR QUALITY

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The Sevenoaks Air Quality Management Area is now the most monitored area in the county!

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The health of residents living along the path of the A25 is suffering due to the constant onslaught of HGV traffic running through our villages.

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The following section is an extract from "Kent County Council, Local Transport Policy, Delivery Report 2008'. Although this is a county wide report, it highlights the seriousness of the rising pollution levels along the A25 due to increasing traffic.

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Extract:

CHAPTER SIX - IMPROVING AIR QUALITY

6.1 The LTP for Kent 2006-11 (LTP2) recognised that air pollution can have a serious effect on people's health, triggering respiratory illness, lung disease and heart conditions. It was noted that road traffic accounts for over half of the total emissions of nitrogen dioxides (NO2) and particulates (PM1o) nationally.

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6.2 The LTP Objective for air quality was that "Kent County Council will stabilise and, where possible, reverse the adverse effect of transport and its infrastructure on the natural and built environment and on local communities". The County Council also committed to work with partners to seek a reduction in traffic pollution on the local road network

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6.3 The rate of progress in improving air quality is measured by the following target.

• To reduce the annual average level of NO2 emissions at Kent's AQMAs to 4oug/m3 by 2010/11. (LTP8)

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Mandatory Target Air Quality (LTP8)

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6.4 Whilst this target is based on NO2 emissions, it is difficult to set a robust trajectory fpr a  pollution concentration target due to external influences like the weather, so the trajectory has been based on the intermediate outcome of traffic flow monitoring, as recommended in the Technical Guidance on Monitoring the LTP2 Mandatory Indicators DtT, December 2004. The intermediate target is to achieve a 1o% reduction in traffic on the roads at Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in Kent based on the baseline data recorded in 2005.

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Sevenoaks District Council

6.28 In September 2005, following a second round of reviews, five further areas were designated for traffic related exceedences of NO2. The areas cover three sections of the A25 at Westerham; Seal and Bat & Ball, Sevenoaks as well as part of Swanley town centre and the High Street, Sevenoaks.

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A225 High Street, Sevenoaks

6.29 This AQMA was declared in September 2005 and covers the A225 through Sevenoaks town centre between Oak Lane and the B2o19. The A25 carries approximately io,000 vehicles per day.

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A25 High Street, Westerham

6.30 This AQMA was declared in September 2005 and covers the A25 through Westerham and a short length of London Road. The A25 carries approximately 17,000 vehicles per day.

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A25 High Street, Seal

6.31 This AQMA was also declared in September 2005 and covers the A25 through Seal village. The A25 carries approximately 13,600 vehicles per day.

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A25/A225 Bat and Ball Junction

6.32 This AQMA was declared in September 2005 and covers the junction of the A25 and A225 near the Bat and Ball railway station to the north of Sevenoaks town centre. This junction carries approximately 24,000 vehicles per day.

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6.34 The District Council carried out the third USA in January 2006 and concluded that a Detailed Assessment was required for NO2 along the Ago Farningham; A224 Riverhead; A224 Dunton Green and London Rd, Sevenoaks. Following the findings of the Detailed Assessment, it was decided to extend the boundaries of the existing AQMAs to cover these new areas since they are all close or adjacent to the existing AQMAs.

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6.35 The following areas were formally designated as AQMAs in December 2007:

• part of the London Road, Sevenoaks (extends A225 High Street, Sevenoaks AQMA) • The London Road, Riverhead (extends AQMA to join M26 AQMA)

• part of the London Road, Dunton Green (extends AQMA to join M26 AQMA) • part of the Ago Farningham (extends M2o AQMA)

 

In August 2008, the mean pollution levels for the St. John's area of Bat and Ball was 55.6 micrograms per cubic metre. The Government's permitted target is only 40 micrograms per cubic metre!

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Just after the above information was published, Sevenoaks town and district councillor for St. Johns Ann Dawson speaking to the Sevenoaks Chronicle said: "Basically the problem with AQMAs is that you can recognise there is a problem and in planning terms it becomes something you have to consider when huge amounts of vehicles will be added to an area, but frankly there's not a lot that anyone can do other than ban vehicles from that area, which is clearly impossible to do."

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In 2011 T&MBC declared Wateringbury to be an AQMA, and the entire centre of Borough Green will be added shortly.

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J5-Slips.org believe that a solution IS possible and that routing HGV traffic via a completed interchange at J5 will prove to be a win-win solution for everyone.

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