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Views sought on how to improve Swaffham air quality




The Buttercross in Swaffham.
The Buttercross in Swaffham.

A public consultation will begin next week on draft proposals to improve air quality in Swaffham.

An action plan has been drawn up by council chiefs and other organisations in a bid to address the issue.

And residents are being invited to have their say on the subject during an event at the town’s Assembly Rooms next Friday, when the consultation process is launched.

Part of the town centre was designated as an air quality management area (AQMA) last May, as current standards do not meet national targets.

Although the full plan has still to be published, officials say it will look at a number of areas including the possibility of changing road layouts, encouraging cycling and car sharing initiatives, education and considering how planning applications may affect air quality levels.

Alison Webb, Breckland Council’s executive member for people and information, said yesterday: “We are still at a very early stage in the process and these measures need to be looked into in greater depth to assess their viability.

“Before we do this, we want to hear the views of local people and tap into their knowledge to make sure that nothing important has been missed.

“Air quality is an issue for many towns and cities nationally and there is no quick fix. It’s likely that in Swaffham improvements will be achieved through implementing a number of measures over a long period of time.

“Some may take many years to put in place, while others can be implemented more quickly. Whether it’s improving traffic flow, sharing car journeys, or making greater use of walking, cycling and public transport, both organisations and individuals can help to make a difference.”

The consultation begins next Friday, January 12 with a drop-in session at the Assembly Rooms from 9am to 2pm, where residents will be able to discuss the issue with council officials and fill in survey forms.

The survey continues until February 23, after which the responses will be reviewed before a final action plan is submitted to the government later this year.

Further details, including a copy of the consultation, will also be published online at www.breckland.gov.uk/air-quality-consultation from next Friday.

Copies will also be available from the town’s library, the Green Britain Centre or by calling the council on 01362 656870 from the same date.



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