THERE are no plans for clean air zones in BCP, the council has confirmed, despite calls from residents to implement them over fears of poor air quality in the conurbation. 

Residents are becoming increasingly concerned about air pollution, as it was revealed last month several roads in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole exceed the three separate air quality limits set by the World Health Organization.  

Susan Stockwell, who lives in Ashley Cross, has called on the council to implement a clean air zone around Commercial Road and for monitors to be provided, but said so far she has had nothing.

Read more: Ways to tackle air pollution in the BCP conurbation

She said: “What is urgently needed is fewer lanes of traffic at Littledown to get the motor traffic down and replace them with cycle-only lanes.  

“Staggered shift times for nearby employers and more lanes added over the years just mean it is a very wide traffic jam instead of a narrower one, and for longer during the day.” 

She added: “I really appreciated and noticed the air quality being so much better during lockdown.  

“I felt so much healthier that I bought an air purifier so that we could still have clean air once lockdown ended.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Air pollution in BCP exceeds limits set by W.H.O.Air pollution in BCP exceeds limits set by W.H.O.

Read more: Air pollution in BCP exceeds World Health Organisation limits

Cllr Chris Rigby of the Green Party said: “Air monitoring should certainly be something which is carried out on a regular basis.  

“Air pollution is the biggest environmental killer in the UK, so I welcome the conversation being opened around clean air zones.” 

Portsmouth City Council introduced a clean air zone (CAZ) in November last year, which they say has been a “success”. 

A spokesperson for the council said: "A recent report found that the majority of vehicles going through the CAZ were compliant with the zone, with an average of 44 vehicles per day needing to pay the charge.  

“This indicates that the work Portsmouth City Council has done to support businesses in upgrading the most polluting vehicles has been a success.”  

Read more: What BCP Council is doing to reduce air pollution

Cllr Mike Greene, portfolio holder for transport and sustainability for BCP Council, said: “Across the BCP region we carry out air quality monitoring using both passive and automatic air quality monitoring units. Maintaining good air quality standards across the BCP area is essential to the quality of life of our residents and our outstanding natural environment and at present air quality in BCP complies with all of the legal limits.

"We have no plans to consider 'Clean Air Zones', both because of the above, and also because we do not believe that punishing car users is the way to make a difference.  

"Instead, through our Transforming Travel programme, we are focussed on making alternative journeys to cars safe and attractive, without having an impact on those who choose or need to travel by car.

"Travel should be about choice, and we are supportive of all modes of travel."