Welsh Government plans for 30ft “air quality barriers” along A494 in Deeside put on hold
The Welsh Government has “paused” plans for 30ft high air quality barriers along A494 in Deeside ahead of new data which is expected to show a significant reduction in roadside emissions.
Ministers had said the environmental barriers – which have been likened to the Berlin Wall – would have the “potential to deliver reductions in roadside concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).”
The section of road where the barriers are proposed has already been reduced to 50mph due to levels of NO2 being above the legal limits.
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami slammed the plans saying they were “not the answer” to reducing high pollution levels along the A494 in Deeside.
He raised his own and constituents’ concerns regarding the proposals with Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters.
In a response to the Alyn and Deeside MP, Mr Waters revealed the plans have now been put on hold, he said:
“In our 2018 Air Quality Plan we committed to develop proposals for environmental barriers which could be introduced should the primary speed reduction measure fail to deliver legal compliance.”
Mr Waters said: “It is of crucial importance that we achieve sustained and long-term compliance with statutory NO2 limits at A494 Deeside, and elsewhere on the road network in Wales.”
“Although we have committed to develop proposals for barriers, there is no intention to install them unless evidence shows that they would be necessary in this context.”
Mr Waters said the Welsh Government will shortly be publishing updated air quality monitoring data for the motorway and trunk road locations where we have been exceeding statutory NO2 limits.
“This will show that strong reductions in concentrations have been achieved, and annual mean levels at A494 Deeside in 2021 were markedly within legal limits.”
The Minister said that given the encouraging air quality position, “I have asked officials to pause and review the planning process for the environmental barriers whilst further air quality data is collected and analysed over the course of the current calendar year to determine whether barriers would still be required.”
“Officials are also reviewing alternative options to explore whether less intrusive barriers could also have the potential to support roadside NO2 concentrations.”
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