A presentation will be provided by Mr Carl Griffin, Control of Pollution Officer and Ms Anna Savage from AECOM Ltd.
Mr Carl Griffin, Control of Pollution Officer, and Ms Anna Savage from AECOM Limited provided an update on the Marlow Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Feasibility Study. C Griffin stated that an Air Quality Management Area was declared in Marlow town centre in 2017 and an air quality action plan had been produced in 2018. Funding had been sourced for a Marlow Low Emission Zone feasibility study and would look at measures that could be taken to improve the air quality. Information on the Marlow Feasibility Study had been included in the agenda pack.
A Savage highlighted the following key points from the report:
- The feasibility study should be completed in Spring 2021.
- The focus would be on the High Street/A4155 area where the levels exceeded the objective.
- Some data was available from previous surveys.
- A survey would be carried out using 12 cameras across Marlow in March 2021 to gain information on the age/types/emissions/purpose of vehicles travelling through Marlow. Traffic levels were currently 70-80% of pre-Covid levels.
- Evidence would be used to model air pollution in the town.
- The study would also look at parking, electric vehicle charging and heavy freight vehicles.
- It was proposed to hold a technical workshop at the end of March 2021.
- Other cities had implemented Clean Air Zones and vehicles not meeting the vehicle emissions were charged but this was unlikely to happen in Marlow as cars were likely to be the main source of pollution.
The following points were raised in discussion:
- It was noted that a carbon audit had been carried out for Marlow Town Council and the town bus accounted for 30% of Marlow Town Council carbon emissions. Could a new bus be expedited?
- Marlow had double the national average of private cars; the survey should provide data on the age of the cars.
- The programme would take approximately 18-24 months to implement.
- The ANPR cameras would undertake a traffic count over a 24 hour period and provide information on the fleet of the vehicles.
- Concern was expressed that, due to utility works being carried out and people using alternative routes, the survey might not provide a true reflection.
- Dissatisfaction was raised that a survey, workshop and report were required before any action would be taken. C Griffin explained that the first stage was to work out why there was an issue, then to discuss the issue with people who could do something about it, e.g. highways, colleagues, bus companies etc. A report had to be produced on the options and ways to deliver the improvements. The Council also had to consider all major projects on an equalities basis in order to decide if the proposal was acceptable. The Chairman advised that previous reports and the Marlow Town Council carbon audit could be shared. There was also the Transport, Infrastructure and Reopening of High Streets and Regeneration (TIRR) subgroup who could provide support. C Griffin acknowledged that there could be ‘quick wins’ and the scheme could potentially take less than two years, depending on buy-in.
The Chairman thanked Anna and Carl for their attendance.