Dudley Council is set to begin the second phase of work to tackle nitrogen dioxide emissions at two sites in the borough.
The authority was awarded over £1.5m to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide emissions in April 2019. The grant from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for Transport (DfT), aims to help reduce vehicle emissions and specifically address two key locations in the borough - the A461 Castle Gate Island and A491 High Street, Wordsley.
A range of options was considered to reduce air pollution, with a key focus on how to improve traffic flow and clean up emissions from buses. The funds have been used to provide new traffic signalling technology which will determine the best traffic signal sequence, provide upgraded “intelligent” pedestrian crossings and will also consider other ways to improve traffic flow such as bus stop placement as well as the introduction of more clean energy buses onto busy routes.
The Castle Gate element has been completed with improvements made to the pedestrian crossings along Duncan Edwards Way and the traffic signals at Castle Gate Roundabout.
Work on the second phase of the project is set to start on the 6 January. This will be tackling congestion and traffic flow on High Street (A491), Wordsley and will include work on the junctions of High Street/ Lawnswood Road/ Blandford Drive - known locally as ‘the Cat’ junction- and High Street/ Brierley Hill Road. The works will take place during the hours of 9.30am to 3.30pm (weekdays) but some disruption is expected.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare cabinet member for cabinet member for environment, highways and street services said:
"Improving air quality is a real focus for us and this additional funding has allowed us to look at a range of ways in which we can reduce air pollution around the borough and at these two locations specifically.
"While we’ve paused the project so as not to disrupt the busy Christmas period, we will be re-starting the work in early January in Wordsley. I hope that people bear with us while we make these improvements to help improve air quality for everyone.
"The council is also working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to further improve public transport in the borough to reduce reliance on cars. It has already reduced emissions from the council’s fleet of vehicles and is working with Transport West Midlands on the roll out of hybrid buses across the region which will reduce polluting emissions by 30% in comparison with conventional diesel fuelled vehicles. The delivery of the Metro extension to Brierley Hill has the potential to reduce car use in the borough even further.
A recent planning document also requires certain new developments to install electric car charging points as part of their build, increasing the opportunity for people to use and charge electric or hybrid vehicles in the borough.