A127 50mph zone would be policed by average speed cameras
The speed limit on a stretch of the A127 which passes Basildon could be reduced in an effort to tackle air pollution, a new report has revealed.
Details of the change have emerged ahead of an Urgent Decision and Staffing Sub-Committee meeting which will take place next week and focus on Basildon Council’s efforts to tackle air pollution.
It is recommended that the speed limit between the Fortune of War Junction and the A127 Pound Lane Junction is reduced from 70mph to 50mph after the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told the authority that air quality needs to be improved as soon as possible.
The new limit would be enforced by average speed cameras and is estimated to come at a cost of £1.2million, funded through a Government grant from the Joint Air Quality Unit.
An outline business case created by a partnership between Basildon Council, Rochford Council and Essex County Council states that reducing the limit will improve air quality by the end of 2020.
Members of the sub-committee will be asked to consider also introducing a clean air zone in this area.
This would see businesses within the zone provided with grants to encourage them to use cleaner vehicles, better infrastructure for electric vehicles, improved bus infrastructure and a marketing campaign to show the benefits of “cleaner choices”.
The council would also review its taxi licencing policies to encourage companies to use a “cleaner fleet”.
The clean air zone would come at the cost of £14million and would need to be funded by the Government.
The council also has the option to introduce a vehicle charge in this zone – similar to London’s congestion charge – but the report notes that this is not something they should do as it could not be introduced until 2022.
A discussion of these measure will take place on Tuesday, May 14, and council officers have recommended that members of the committee approved the speed limit reduction and the clean air zone.
If they fail to do so, officers have warned it “will result in further delays to the project timeline and increase the potential for legal challenge from Government”.