Road signs to be rolled out to cut air pollution
NEW road signs in Swansea are set to help motorists do their bit to lower pollution levels.
Electronic signs have been popping up on the outskirts of the city centre and now Swansea Council has announced it is set to launch the Swansea Nowcaster air pollution monitoring system in early 2013.
The system will involve a series of signs linked to 47 traffic counters and air monitoring equipment installed in certain parts of the city.
The council has already installed three of the signs along Oystermouth Road and Quay Parade.
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A further three will be installed in and around the Hafod area and have been funded from the Welsh Government's Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places programme.
The signage will respond to predictions of raised levels of air pollution and will aim to redirect motorists along routes away from the areas concerned.
Parts of Swansea, including Hafod, are included within the Swansea Air Quality Management Area 2010.
June Burtonshaw, cabinet member for place in Swansea Council, said: "We have been monitoring air quality in the Hafod part of the city for many years after declaring the area an air quality management area.
"The Nowcaster initiative should help us to improve local communities in areas affected by high vehicle-related pollution levels."
In October Mrs Burtonshaw said the council was planning to meet with the Welsh Government over air quality targets.
In a written response to councillors she said that the latest results showed "a continuing problem with air quality in these areas, but also identifies further areas which may need to be included within the air quality management area for Swansea".
The council declared Hafod an air quality management area in 2001 in a bid to address the problem. Subsequent areas were then designated.
Mrs Burtonshaw said: "It is clear from our latest review that compliance (with the EC targets) is unlikely in the short term and in some parts of Sketty, Fforestfach and Hafod we will not have compliance until after 2020."
She said planning guidelines suggest that developments in such areas be refused if they adversely impact on public health.
"There is no presumption against housing developments in air quality management areas, but clearly increasing the resident population in a failing area is undesirable," she said.