Broxbourne suffers with some of the highest levels of illegal air pollution in the country. A government air pollution plan, ordered by the High Court earlier this year, revealed air pollution in Broxbourne to be much worse than previously feared, in fact it is amongst the eight worst areas in the country outside of London.
The main pollutant in the air is nitrogen dioxide and the main cause of that is traffic.
Amongst the worst air in the borough is along the A10 in Cheshunt but there are several others in the borough including Waltham Cross and Wormley that well exceed the minimum accepted levels.
The area has been above the legal limit for some time but originally it was expected to be able to get down to the legal limit by 2019. After reviewing just how bad the problem is, Broxbourne Council revised that date to 2028.
The most likely way the Council will address this problem is by implementation of a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) ie vehicles entering the area that do not comply with the specifications required will be charged a fee. They are hopeful this would enable the area to get to minimum compliance by 2023. This still leave us all breathing dangerous levels for another four years.
A final plan on how they intend to address the issues must be with Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by October 2019.
Broxbourne council currently ask residents in the area not to make short car journeys – I would suggest better, and more frequent bus routes should be implemented so short car journeys are less necessary.
In addition, Broxbourne District council are in direct opposition to Hertfordshire County council. Herts instigated the proposal for a 350,000-tonne incinerator that will pump further nitrogen dioxide into the Broxbourne Lea Valley and generate another c98,000 lorry movements – so huge potential for even higher levels in the north of the borough.
A Piece by Elaine Thatcher – Chair of the Broxbourne Liberal Democrats