Our consultation is now closed. We will analyse all the results and read all of the comments we have received. This information will be used to inform the final revised Air Quality Action Plan.

 

Background

Air pollution is an issue that affects many parts of the UK, and can have a negative impact on our health and enjoyment of our environment.

The Chichester District is a beautiful place to live, work and visit and we are fortunate that our air quality is generally very good. However, there are a small number of places that are adversely affected by air pollution and we are working to help tackle this issue with our Air Quality Action Plan.

When an area is identified as having poor air quality (i.e. it doesn't meet the National Air Quality Standards), it is declared as an 'Air Quality Management Area'. For each of these areas, a plan is put in place setting out a range of actions that can be taken to improve air quality — this is called an Air Quality Action Plan.

Our Air Quality Action Plan, which was first produced in 2008 and currently covers four areas of the district, is being reviewed and updated, and we're keen to hear your thoughts on our proposals. The draft revised plan outlines the actions that could be taken to improve air quality between 2021 and 2026.

There is also an important second part to the revised plan. Since its introduction, our Air Quality Action Plan has been successful in introducing schemes that have had a positive impact on air quality. Air Quality has been steadily improving, and this means that we're in the fortunate position of being able to propose that Orchard Street and Stockbridge A27 roundabout, both in Chichester, no longer need to be considered Air Quality Management Areas.

To give you more information about the proposals, we have developed a range of Frequently Asked Questions, which you can find on this page.

There are many factors that contribute to the quality of the air we breathe, but as a council we are committed to doing all that we reasonably can to make our area a cleaner, safer and healthier place to live, work and visit. Your voice matters and the feedback you give us will help us to shape our plan — thank you in advance for sharing your views!

View the draft plan

You can read the full draft Revised Air Quality Action Plan here, along with reports that have helped inform the recommendations within the plan.
 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q. Why has the council produced this plan?

A. Under the Government's Local Air Quality Management regime, all district and borough councils are obliged to review and assess air quality in their areas. If air quality is found to be non-compliant with air quality objectives then they must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Where an AQMA is declared, a council must write and adopt an Air Quality Action Plan proposing what the council will do to help improve air quality.

Enhancing air quality in the district is a key priority for the council, and our Air Quality Action Plan is just one of the steps we are taking to help protect our district's environment.

Air quality is a complex issue and one that we cannot tackle alone. We will be working with partner organisations, such as West Sussex County Council, and will continue to encourage people to help reduce air pollution in their everyday lives.

 

Q. How does the council measure air quality in the district?

A.
Air quality is constantly measured across the district at our air monitoring stations. Nitrogen dioxide is also monitored at numerous locations around Chichester City and Midhurst, on a monthly basis throughout the year.

Local authorities are obliged to determine whether various air quality standards and objectives are met by the Government under the Local Air Quality Management regime. Our main focus is measuring a gas called Nitrogen Dioxide, which is particularly associated with diesel engine emissions and for which most Air Quality Management Areas have been declared in the UK. Currently, we also measure small particles known as 'PM10' and ground-level Ozone (O3)

To ensure we get an accurate picture, we need to monitor for a number of years. This is because a variety of factors affect the measurements, including traffic volume, traffic speed, the age of the vehicle fleet, wind direction, and wind speed.

If an area is found to be exceeding the National Air Quality Standards, an Air Quality Management Area must be declared.

 

Q. What is an Air Quality Management Area?

A. An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is a geographical area where air quality fails or is likely to fail the national Air Quality Objectives for one or more pollutant. This is informed by air quality monitoring data and computer modelling.

Declaring an Air Quality Management Area is the first step towards tackling issues of air quality in that area. Over 500 have been declared across the UK, varying in size from single properties to large areas of some cities.

There are four AQMAs in the Chichester District, located in parts of:

  • St Pancras, Chichester;
  • Orchard Street, Chichester;
  • Stockbridge A27 roundabout, Chichester; and
  • Rumbolds Hill, Midhurst.

 

Q. What is an Air Quality Action Plan?

A. All councils that have declared AQMAs are required by law to adopt an Air Quality Action Plan that reviews possible pollution reduction measures and, where possible, assesses them in terms of pollution reduction, acceptability, cost effectiveness and feasibility.

The plan must propose actions aimed at driving local air quality towards compliance with national Air Quality Objectives.

Air Quality Action Plans should be renewed every five years.


Q. What has already been achieved by the district's Air Quality Action Plan to date?

A. The district's first Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) was introduced in 2008, with updates in 2015 and 2021.

The plan has delivered or helped to deliver some very successful projects and schemes that aimed to reduce air pollution in the district. This work includes:

  • The introduction of the  Co-Wheels car club, a car share scheme in Chichester
  • Delivery of a district-wide network of electric vehicle charging points to encourage more people to use electric vehicles and to support existing electric vehicle drivers — you can find our more about this on our electric parking page.
  • The development of the Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which identifies improvements to local cycling and walking networks in and around Chichester City centre.
  • Assisting the development of the Selsey Greenway, a proposed traffic-free shared use route connecting Selsey and Chichester.
  • Doubling the number of bike racks in Chichester City Centre to encourage green transport.
  • Engagement in the community and within schools to promote positive behavioural change towards green transport and campaigns to raise awareness of air pollution, including promotional activities, such as 'Bike to Work' days and employing a Sustrans Bike It officer.
  • The introduction of electric vehicles to Chichester District Council's fleet.
  • Delivering green travel incentives to Chichester District Council staff, including the 'cycle to work' scheme, a green lease car scheme and Easit, which enables staff to access travel related discounts such as 15% off train fares for Southern Railways journeys or to trial an electric bike.

 

Q. What is proposed in the draft Revised Air Quality Action Plan?

A.To prepare the draft Revised Air Quality Action Plan, officers carried out a comprehensive review of 10 years' worth of air quality monitoring data and air quality modelling. This analysis helped us to understand the local trends in air quality and to develop a range of tailored actions to further reduce air pollution across the district.

The plan proposes to continue with the following actions that are already in progress:

  • Develop the Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which identifies improvements to local cycling and walking networks in and around Chichester City centre.
  • Improve emissions regulations for the council's Taxi Licensing Standards.
  • Promote development of car clubs across the district, using zero emission vehicles where possible.
  • Air quality assessments to help inform Chichester District Council's consideration of planning applications.
  • Inclusion of air quality related policy in the Revised Local Plan.
  • Embed a GIS layer of walking and cycling routes in the Local Plan Revision.
  • Replace Chichester District Council cars and Large Goods Vehicles with electric versions wherever possible, and help to optimise waste and recycling routes.
  • Encourage green travel amongst Chichester District Council staff for all journeys, both private and work related, through provision and promotion of the Easit scheme for example.
  • Continue to participate in the all Sussex councils' air quality group (Sussex-air), and support Air-Alert, which sends predictions of tomorrow's air quality as well as advice for people with vulnerable respiratory health.


The plan also sets out some actions that could be achieved if funding can be secured, including:

  • A review of on-street parking arrangements in Midhurst.
  • Delivery of anti-idling campaigns in targeted locations.
  • To consider the use of on-street parking for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood type approach.
  • Delivery of a pool car fleet for Chichester District Council staff to use on work related journeys.
  • The provision of a small fleet of ebikes for Chichester District Council staff to use on work-related journeys.

The new plan also includes some new actions relating to tackling issues relating to microscopic particles in the air, called particulates. In particular, these actions look to encourage cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels (for example, in open grate and wood-burning stoves). You can find out more about this on page 50 of the draft plan.

Air quality in the district has steadily improved in the last five years and the modelling predicts that this trend will continue. Air quality has improved in the Stockbridge A27 and Orchard Street Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) to such an extent that the draft plan recommends that these AQMAs are 'undeclared'. It is also recommended that the Orchard Street air quality monitoring station is decommissioned, however, we would continue to monitor air quality there using a different method - 'diffusion tubes'. These are Perspex tubes which have a reactant in them that allows us to establish the concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide on a monthly basis. From this data we calculate an annual average (or 'mean') value to compare to the relevant Government standard. The majority of all UK councils' air quality monitoring is done using this method which is compliant with statutory guidance. It is proposed that the St Pancras and Rumbolds Hill AQMAs, which are both predicted to be compliant with the UK's Air Quality Standards by 2024, continue to be monitored. It is also proposed that the monitoring of ground-level Ozone (O3) at Lodsworth be decommissioned. Further details can be found on pages 20 to 29 of the draft plan
 

Q. Some of the suggestions included refer to the Local Plan Review. What is this?

A. The council is currently working on the Local Plan Review, which will set out our vision for the future of the district's economy; plan for transport and housing needs; look at how we can improve the lives of children and young people; consider the area's environmental needs; support our health and wellbeing; and ensure that we continue to have a rich arts and cultural environment.

The plan, which will cover all of the areas in the district that do not fall within the South Downs National Park, will help to manage and shape development and provide much needed housing in our area over the next 15 years. It will also help to protect the important environmental and historic qualities of the area, while addressing the district's future housing and employment development needs. The Local Plan Review covers a wide variety of topics, including getting around and transport, environment and greenspace, and health and wellbeing, and some of our actions in the Air Quality Action Plan feed into this work. You can find out more information on our Local Plan Review page.


Q. One of the actions proposed is to 'Embed a GIS layer of walking and cycling routes in the Revised Local Plan'. What do you mean by this?

A. It is possible that new cycling infrastructure could be funded by planning contributions depending on competing priorities for this funding. In order to maximise proposed cycling and walking infrastructure's place in the Local Plan Revision, we are creating a digital mapping layer. This will detail the routes in the Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and other West Sussex County Council documents so that we provide the best clarity to the council's aspirations for walking and cycling infrastructure. This digital mapping layer will allow us to update our aspirations as some routes are delivered and maximise cycling and walking's presence in the plan.


Q. Another action proposed is to 'Consider the use of on-street parking for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood type approach'. What do you mean by this?

A. In partnership with our West Sussex County Council Highways colleagues, we will consider whether it is possible to use street space for non-car related uses and/or to create quieter routes to the city centre to encourage walking and cycling. This is a sensitive issue but one that can help us to redefine how we utilise our urban environment.


Q. How does the council intend to fund the air quality actions?

A. In the past, the council has successfully bid for funding to enable delivery of actions in the previous Air Quality Action Planss - for instance, the installation of electric vehicle charge points was supported by £60,000 of Government grant funding. Grants usually have very specific terms as to what projects the monies will support. As such, officers will be aware of various relevant grant streams and consider bidding for them as they arise. The bids will, where time permits, be considered by the council's Environment Panel before they are submitted


Q. What happens after the consultation?

A. Once the consultation finishes, we will analyse all the results and read all of thecomments we have received. This information will be used to inform the final revised Air Quality Action Plan. This will then be considered by the council's Environment Panel in September, and then by Cabinet in November of this year.

 

Q. Where can I find more information?

A. For an overview on air quality in Chichester District, see our air quality page.

 

Q. I want to take part in the survey but would like a paper copy. How do I get one?

A. People can request a paper copy of the questionnaire by emailing letstalk@chichester.gov.uk