Letter - Air quality improving at road junction

In reply to Mr Godfrey’s letter in last week’s Express, I would like to reassure readers that most recent monitoring data for the Town End junction show an encouraging downward trend in NO2 levels.

We are committed to improving air quality in this area and across the district, and in 2012 and 2013 levels were 45µgm-3 at Town End, down from 55µgm-3 the previous year.

I would also like to point out that the main contributor to air pollution in many locations across the district is due to vehicle emissions. The rising trend in diesel engine use contributes to this.

A scheme to replace the traffic signal junction at Town End with double roundabouts has been prepared and it is anticipated that work will start on site in the summer, subject to land acquisition. This scheme aims to increase capacity of the junction to reduce delays and congestion in the local area.

The council’s priorities include boosting economic growth, creating employment opportunities and meet local housing needs, all of which have the potential to generate more traffic. But we will do all we can to ensure that air quality is taken into consideration when making any decisions about future schemes, and will take further steps to improve levels when needed.

Ian Thomson

Wakefield Council’s Service Director, Planning and Highways