Basildon Air Quality Survey

Closed 14 Dec 2020

Opened 13 Nov 2020

Feedback updated 6 Apr 2021

We asked

We engaged with the public in November/December 2020 about our proposals to address air quality issues in an area of Basildon.

Locations on a stretch of the A127 and two areas to the south of it (most notably on the A132 East Mayne) have been identified as exceeding legal limits for nitrogen dioxide - a harmful gas caused by vehicle emissions. Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council were directed by Government to improve air quality on the A127 as quickly as possible and a new 50mph speed limit was introduced earlier this year.

The councils were also instructed to carry out further analysis to establish what measures would be needed to bring air quality to within legal levels as soon as possible on East Mayne (A132). We, therefore, investigated a series of options and scenarios.

As a result of that work, we identified a preferred option – the relocation of the shared pedestrian and cyclist route on East Mayne to reduce people’s exposure to air pollution in the worst affected area (central reservation) and remove the requirement for the location to be reportable.

Our technical work has shown this measure would result in compliance with legal air quality levels on East Mayne in 2022, while avoiding any disproportionate impact on residents and businesses.

Residents, businesses and visitors to Basildon, as well as any other interested parties, were encouraged to have their say on our proposals by completing our Basildon Air Quality Survey.

An online brochure complemented the survey to set the scene, provide the background to the project and the subject of air quality, explain the preferred option and outline other efforts to tackle air pollution in Basildon.

You said

In total, we received 164 responses to the public engagement survey – all of which were submitted online. These provided a valuable insight into people’s thoughts about air quality, sustainable modes of travel and our scheme to relocate the pedestrian and cyclist route.

  • 81% of respondents indicated they felt improving air quality was an important issue
  • 74% said they were concerned about the impacts of poor air quality on the health of them, their family and friends
  • 88% were concerned about the impacts of poor air quality on the environment
  • 63% of those who responded to the survey said that, given the need to bring air quality in East Mayne to legal levels in the shortest possible time, they were either supportive (or very supportive) of the preferred option or described their views on the option as ‘neutral’. 37% described themselves as opposed (or very opposed) to the preferred option
  • 52% of respondents indicated they thought the preferred option would have an impact in reducing people’s exposure to air pollution, while 46% said they thought it would have no significant impact and 2% did not know
  • 96% of people described the information provided as part of the public engagement as either helpful (73%) or ‘neither helpful nor unhelpful’ (23%)

We also noted concerns expressed about the perceived impacts of the preferred option on traffic flow, congestion, and the increased crossing points and journey times for pedestrian and cyclists, notably those travelling in the north/south direction between Wickford and Basildon.

We did

The data collected as part of the survey enabled us to gain a fuller understanding of people’s views on air quality and our proposals to help inform the decision-making processes and our outline business case for the scheme.

It also enabled us to identify potential issues and concerns and to ensure that any feedback about our proposals can be taken into consideration as they are developed further.

Having considered people’s feedback, an outline business case for the scheme has now been approved by both Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council and has been submitted to the Government for approval.

Following comments about the increased journey times and number of crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists travelling between Wickford and Basildon, potential future mitigation measures are being investigated. Design changes have also been made to the scheme to widen parts of the proposed crossing route.

The public will have a further opportunity to comment on the proposals during a public notice period in April 2021.

The full business case is then expected to be submitted this summer, with construction of the scheme scheduled to start in the autumn and be completed in the winter, bringing air quality to within legal levels in 2022.

To find out more about the proposed scheme, please visit essex.gov.uk/airquality.

Overview

Air pollution, mainly caused by vehicles on the roads, is having a harmful effect on the health of people living, visiting and working in parts of Basildon and must be addressed.

Locations on a stretch of the A127 and two areas to the south of it (most notably on the A132 East Mayne) have been identified as exceeding legal limits for nitrogen dioxide. Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council were directed by Government to improve air quality on the A127 as quickly as possible and a new 50mph speed limit was introduced earlier this year to tackle the issue.

The councils were also instructed to carry out further analysis to establish what measures would be needed to bring air quality to within legal levels as soon as possible on East Mayne (A132). We have, therefore, been investigating a series of options and scenarios.

This work has been taking place for several months and we are pleased to now be able to share our preferred option – the relocation of shared crossings on East Mayne to reduce the exposure of pedestrians and cyclsits to air pollution. Our technical work has shown this measure would result in compliance with legal air quality levels on East Mayne in 2022, while avoiding any disproportionate impact on residents and businesses. It would also complement wider projects and initiatives to encourage a shift to safer, greener and healthier transport and improve air quality across Basildon.

This public engagement period is an opportunity for us to tell you more about the project, share our proposals and for you to tell us what you think  as we continue our journey to cleaner travel in Basildon.

Areas

  • Basildon

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Community initiatives
  • Health
  • Public Health
  • Highways
  • Public transport
  • Community transport
  • Transport planning
  • Central government