Beds, Herts & Bucks

Broxbourne congestion charge to tackle major route pollution

A10 Image copyright Google
Image caption The proposed Clean Air Zone currently includes the stretch of the A10 between the B198 to the A1170 roundabout

A congestion charge could be introduced to tackle high pollution on a major route off the M25.

A Clean Air Zone in and around a 1.82km stretch of the A10 in Hertfordshire is being proposed as part of a bid to improve air quality.

Councillors want drivers of the most polluting vehicles travelling in the zone in Broxbourne to pay £10 a day.

The county and borough councils have been told by the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to take urgent action.

Tests have shown that on the Broxbourne stretch of the A10 - between the junction with the B198 to the A1170 roundabout - levels of nitrogen dioxide can be almost twice the EU permitted level of 40ug/m3, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Hertfordshire County Council and Broxbourne Borough Council had drawn up proposals including a toll to use the A10, lower speed limits and junction improvements but were told the measures would not make quick enough changes to air quality.

Residents exempt

In the new zone, drivers whose cars are not Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel compliant would be charged the fee, while older lorries or buses could be charged up to £250.

Broxbourne residents are expected to be among those exempt.

At the county council's highways and environment cabinet panel, councillors heard automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras would be installed around the zone and drivers who had not paid would be fined.

It is also likely the zone will be implemented under a "ministerial direction" so it will not need the support of councillors or residents, although a period of "public engagement" is intended.

The plan will have to be finalised by March 2020.

The panel chairman, Conservative councillor Phil Bibby, said he was conscious it might cause issues elsewhere, because of chosen diversions but said the authority would look at those pressures and report to the JAQU.

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