Councillors asked to extend Rottingdean Air Quality monitoring

Councillors are being asked to extend a trial scheme aimed at improving air quality in Rottingdean next week.

In partnership with Rottingdean Parish Council changes were made to the road layout in the High Street in October 2019, including a ban on right turns out of West Street, a planter north of Park Road to encourage free flowing traffic northbound and a no stopping (yellow hatched) box in the narrowest part of the lower High Street. 

While the first 18 months of the trial have showed some positive results, travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020 have significantly impacted how the data can be compared to previous years. 

Therefore, recommendations will be put to members of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) committee on Tuesday 16 March, that would further the trial for another 18 months. The ban on right turns out of West Street will be made permanent though having received no objections.

Data from the first 18 months of the trial scheme

Information from the air quality monitors set up in Rottingdean High Street and Rottingdean A259 in October 2019 has shown that:
•    The first quarter of 2020 (before many travel restrictions were imposed) showed a significant drop in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels
•    Monitoring indicates outdoor NO2 levels did not exceed UK standards in 2020
•    Relatively high roadside NO2 in July & August is likely to have been influenced by the end of travel restrictions and the release of pent up demand for vehicle journeys and local traffic with increased visitor numbers during established warm weather, without rain, strong winds and fresh air flow.

Again, analysis of the data needs to take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on traffic movement. Further information can be found in the report.

Next steps

Members of the ETS committee will be asked to extend the trial for another 18 months. It is also hoped that access to real time data will be made publicly available online during the extended trial period of the scheme. Signing and lining will also be enhanced on the High Street and a left turn ban out of Park Road will be considered to address local safety concerns.

Councillor Sue John, Chair of Rottingdean Parish Council said: “Extending the trial is a sensible move and will allow us to better compare the data.

“Air pollution in the High Street has been a concern for many years, but it’s important any long-term decisions are made with the best information available so that we can improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.”

Chair of the ETS committee Amy Heley said: “It’s encouraging to see that some of the data shows improvements to air quality in Rottingdean, but it’s clear we need more information. 

“Reducing toxic emissions and improving air quality are two of our biggest priorities and we’re working hard on expanding our current Ultra Low Emission Zones and exploring a Liveable City Centre.

“The city’s Climate Assembly made it clear that we need to engage with neighbourhoods and communities when looking at the future of transport in Brighton & Hove and Rottingdean is a good example of how we’re doing that.

Related news