Despite many areas in the city improving the air quality, more action is needed to ensure potential World Health Organisation (WHO) standards are met in Winchester.
The measures are for the amount of Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) which were previously greater than the legal limits. A number of the arterial routes such as Andover Road and Alresford Road have reduced their NO2 levels, however this is not the case for Romsey Road.
Winchester Council’s cabinet have consequently been discussing more ways to encourage greener ways of travel.
Currently, WHO have not set mandatory levels for NO2 emissions, but it is expected they will soon set a standard of 25microgrammes per km. If this is to be the case, then Winchester will come under scrutiny once again, according to Cllr Frank Pearson, whose opinion on the current work is that he ‘can’t say that it goes far enough‘. However, Cllr Pearson continues:
We are approaching the level where we can be satisfied that the monitoring has illustrated that the changes of technology in vehicles is actually improving air quality, as far as vehicles are concerned.
In response, Cllr Jackie Porter stated the council were also looking at the pollution that comes from houses as well as from vehicles.
Cllr Kelsie Learney agreed with Cllr Pearson’s comments, but added, ‘I think we do need to be positive about electric cars, but we do need to keep pushing that message, fewer cars not just different ones’.