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Air quality improves on town’s most polluted street

19 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Traffic on Park Street in Bridgend during rush hour.

Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter

Air quality on a residential street known for being the most polluted in a south Wales town has improved, according to the local authority.

Park Street in Bridgend has recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide that are above the legal threshold in recent years, after the issue was first identified by receptors based on the street in 2019.

Council members in attendance at a meeting held on April 16 heard how concentrations of pollutants had seen a “significant improvement” in the time since with levels now expected to fall below the national limit by 2026.

The improvement was said to have come after the first stages of an air quality plan, which was approved for submission to the Welsh Government, to lower the levels of nitrogen dioxide caused by “the proximity of houses to a heavily-trafficked primary route with congestion issues”.

These measures included updating the junction and traffic lights at the end of Park Street as well as implementing a right-hand holding lane at the junction with Heol y Nant to improve traffic flows.

Traffic queues 

Residents had previously spoken about the issues they faced on the street near Bridgend town centre, which previously saw huge backlogs of traffic queuing there on a daily basis.

However councillors decided not to approve a final measure contained within the action plan which would make the joining St Leonard’s Road a no entry from Park Street in order to further reduce traffic.

This came after officers told members that even if they did restrict access to St Leonard’s Road many people would still need to make the journey there via another route, noting how they felt less people were using it due to the addition of the right-turn lane at Heol y Nant.

Officers also said that while levels were still higher than the legal limit on a small section of the street even if they did nothing further at this stage they were still expected to fall below the limit by 2026.

Cllr Rhys Goode said if they were on a trajectory to reach the air quality target plans to do further work on St Leonard’s Road that could take up significant resources should be put on the shelf.

He added: “I think it must be considered that the air quality zone that requires improvement is a very small area of Park Street incorporating only 16 houses. Obviously we don’t want anyone to be living with poor air quality but that does show that actually, considering we have no other air quality improvement plans across the borough, that is quite a positive place for us to be.”

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1 month ago

Interesting. I looked up the air quality plan and closing the side road was ranked above the right turn lane in its assessment. Stands to reason that a local government would build car infrastructure rather than take a baby step to building human-friendly infrastructure. Besides, one or two of the keyboard motorists might get shirty on facebook and we can’t have that.

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