Derby City Council in currently in the process of consulting on their proposals to meet their legal requirements for air quality in Derby.
The Derby Cycling Group have provided the following response to the consultation. Members are also encouraged to provide their own feedback.
We are writing from Derby Cycling Group in response to the Council’s consultation on air quality in Derby. As a group involved in campaigning for cycle facilities in the city, and comprising approximately 400 members, we are a key stakeholder in the consultation process.
With regards to the Council’s Air Quality, Low Emission Policy, and proposals for reducing pollution levels below the specified maximums, we would make the following points which we would expect to be taken into consideration during the refinement of the proposals.
- All the proposed options contain non specific improvements to cycling infrastructure. These would be welcomed by the Derby Cycling Group but need to be made specific to allow for any informed comment. We welcome more details of the plans and would expect to be invited to comment.
- An overall reduction in traffic within the city would be welcomed as this would lead to a improved environment for cyclists (and hence increased numbers). It is important that the plans do not result in substitution of “dirty” vehicles with similar levels of “cleaner” larger vehicles.
- The option to rearrange traffic measures in Stafford Street does not address the underlying problem of poor air quality and just “games” the modelling to spread the same (or higher) pollution to allow the limit of NOx pollution in Stafford Street to be met. This might meet the letter of what is required by law but not the spirit. We would prefer to see measures that address reducing overall pollution rather than addressing the measurement of pollution at just one or two points.
- We are concerned about the impact Option 1 might have on existing cycling behaviour and provisions. Again, we welcome more details of the plan and would expect to be invited to comment. We would strongly resist any worsening of the current situation for cyclists.
- We would prefer to see additional options alongside the current 3 options which are at extreme ends of the possibilities (i.e. tinker with Stafford St or create a 24 hour a day charging zone). There should be scope for an additional option of a massive focus on active travel, a LCWIP and the creation of a good quality, connected cycle network.
- A design principle should be adopted that any cycling infrastructure in an area subject to a change is upgraded or enhanced as a consequence of that change, be that traffic management or reconstruction.
- We are concerned about one-off payments to favoured individuals or companies to allow for replacement of “dirty” vehicles when this money could be better spent on creating cycling infrastructure that would provide a long term benefit to pollution issues rather than a one off “hit”.
- Within the Low Emission Strategy, an additional focus area should be added as “transport cycle strategy” to put active travel on a par with EV, buses, taxis, etc. which each have their own focus area.
- Any grant / discount schemes for electric or low emission vehicles should also include the option of purchasing ebikes (for the whole family) as a solution.
We welcome the desire of the Council to address air quality issues within the city and would support any measures that improve the cycling infrastructure and encourage increased cycle usage within the city and the surrounding “travel to work” area.
We would welcome the chance to comment on detailed proposals as they are defined and would ask that the Derby Cycling Group is included in the list of stakeholders or interested parties during the review process.