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Tree planting idea to reduce traffic pollution in Carlisle

Trees could be planted along busy roads in Carlisle to lessen the effects of traffic pollution.

The idea is one of several put forward by the city council after routine monitoring detected high levels of nitrogen dioxide at six locations.

The pollutant from car exhausts is an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat.

It aggravates existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. And at least one study suggests that long-term exposure increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children.

The nitrogen dioxide hot spots are in Scotland Road/Kingstown Road, Bridge Street, Currock Street, Dalston Road/Shaddongate and parts of Wigton Road and London Road.

They have prompted the council to declare a series of ‘air-quality management areas’ since 2005, requiring it to draw up measures and work with other organisations, such as the county council, to reduce pollution.

The first action plan, produced in 2007, has now been updated.

Among the new suggestions is a tree-planting programme, although the officers who produced the plan seem unsure as to how much difference it would make.

Their report says: “The direct air-quality benefits of strategic vegetation and tree-planting is not absolutely clear.

“It is possible that the major impact of this scheme may be indirect. The results could be very visible and tangible within the community, which helps bring the air-quality issue to public attention.”

The council may apply to the Government’s £4m Big Tree Plant fund, which aims to plant 1m trees by 2015.

The action plan also says:

The newly-open western bypass, the Carlisle Northern Development Route, is expected to reduce through traffic by a quarter. Its impact will be “closely monitored”.

Caldcotes roundabout outside McVitie’s will be remodelled. This, along with other highway changes allied to the new Sainsbury’s superstore, should reduce congestion.

Developers of new housing schemes that might worsen congestion will have to produce air-quality management plans and may have to pay towards improvements to public transport.

Bus use will be made more attractive through the use of raised kerbs and bus boarders to improve accessibility and real-time displays at busy stops showing when the next bus is due.

A cycle-friendly footbridge over the Cumbrian coast railway at Currock will be a “priority scheme”.

Cycle paths are being developed along the River Petteril and north of the River Eden to Kingmoor Park.

The council’s ruling executive is due to discuss the action plan on Monday.

The final version will be submitted to Ministers for approval later this summer.

Have your say

I have a gas converted car that is probably cleaner than most new petrol cars but still have to pay to whack road tax, I also own a very expensive racing bicycle which my hard earned road tax does not go towards protecting from the thousands of pot holes and bad surfacing around here! Plant the trees fill in the holes and build more cycleways thats what i say, where does all this money go...?

Posted by Tony Lopez on 4 July 2012 at 15:34

@Dave LOL

@Bryan what a stupid argument esp. te statement "there is no such thing as road tax". Try not buying it and see how far you get marra.

Posted by derek on 3 July 2012 at 13:14

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