Along with 32 other local authorities, Broxbourne Borough Council received a Ministerial Direction in 2018 to commence a study on local air quality levels after national monitoring indicated that an area in the Borough potentially exceeded legal limits of nitrogen dioxide. The results of the study confirmed that there was an exceedance, and a further review was commissioned for Broxbourne Council, working with Hertfordshire County Council, to identify options to improve local air quality with a specific focus on a section of the A10 that runs through the Borough.
The Direction came as a result of a court case between ClientEarth and the government in 2016, which ordered ministers to develop a revised plan for the entire country to bring air pollution down within legal limits as soon as possible.
As a consequence, extensive studies to establish a more accurate representation of air quality in the area have taken place, and an outline business case containing the most feasible options to address the air quality issue is currently in development. This will be submitted by 31 October 2019 for the approval of the Department of Transport (DfT) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which are working together under an established Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU).
To achieve air quality compliance within the set deadline, one of the options under consideration is a Clean Air Zone charge. This would mean that commercial and domestic vehicles (other than motorbikes) which are not Euro 4 Petrol and Euro 6 Diesel compliant would be charged to enter the zone. Broxbourne Council will however do all it can to exempt residents of the Borough from being charged.
Prior to completion and submission of the final business case, a public consultation exercise will take place to give all those concerned the opportunity to learn more about the project and provide feedback on available options ahead of implementation in 2022. Consultations are expected to commence by the end of this year.
Broxbourne Council and Hertfordshire County Council will be working closely together to design and implement this scheme. All costs related to this project and its subsequent implementation are being fully funded by JAQU via a capital grant to Broxbourne Council.