Agenda item


A report seeking approval of the Air Quality Action Plan for Shalford.


The Guildford Joint Committee agreed that:


       i.          The Committee adopts the Air Quality Action Plan for Shalfordin Appendix 1.


Result of vote on the recommendation:

For 14

Against 3

Abstention 1


Reasons for recommendation:

To ensure the Council meets its statutory duties to adopt an air quality management area action plan and to improve air quality within the Air Quality Management Area in Shalford.


Declarations of Interest: None


Officers attending:Justine Fuller, Regulatory Services Manager, Guildford Borough Council, and William Bryans, Transport Studies Team Manager, Surrey County Council


Petitions, Public Questions, Statements: None.


Member Discussion – key points:

In response to the questions raised in the Open Forum, Ms Fuller and Mr Bryans commented on the following:

·        The air quality action plan being implemented by Guildford Borough Council (GBC) is one of many documents that address air quality. There are over 20 strategies between GBC and SCC that address air quality targets across the whole borough.

·        There are no penalties for failing to restore air quality in a declared management area, but authorities are required to issue annual updates to DEFRA to show that work is being undertaken to manage the situation.

·        The major contributor to poor air quality in Shalford is private cars, many of which are for single-driver journeys.

·        The possibility of a Park & Ride at Stonebridge Wharf was considered at various times since 1993. It was not actioned for reasons including the suitability of other sites on busier corridors, issues with the quality of the site itself, problems with existing bus-stop locations and bus routes along the A281, and possible impacts on the existing Park & Ride in Artington. In the future, funding from development at Dunsfold could enable Stonebridge to be put into action (this would involve working with Waverley Borough Council), but it is important to take a wide strategic view of the Park & Ride scheme rather than considering this possible location on its own.


The Chairman added that while funding from Highways England for the Guildford/Godalming greenway had been withdrawn it was still an aspiration of the committee to implement it and alternative possible funding sources would be looked at, potentially in combination with Waverley borough council.


Reservations about the proposed Action Plan were expressed by some members, who felt that solutions suggested, such as relying on a shift to electric cars, would not have the desired effect in the short lifetime of the Plan. Planned housing developments over coming years would maintain pressure on air quality and there was a need for serious consideration of other ways to tackle the problems, including speed limit reductions and improved public transport links with trains, trams and e-buses.


It was noted that GBC is in talks with local train operating companies to improve service frequencies, and in addition to the planned West Guildford station there is the will to re-open the line to Cranleigh although lack of funding is limiting progress at the moment.


Introducing a Clean Air Zone had been considered but the decision was taken not to progress as they are more suitable for area-wide air quality issues rather than a single line exceedance which is the issue in Shalford. Additionally, diversion routes would take HGVs through Compton and Godalming, both of which are existing AQMAs.


A Park & Ride scheme should be considered as part of the medium-term plan in this area. Local bus operator Stagecoach is open to talks and options for the location of a suitable site may be less restricted than initially thought.


Officers acknowledged the comments that had been made and stressed that the report in question addressed NO2 levels in Shalford and a plan to reduce these in accordance with GBC’s duty to do so to satisfy DEFRA. Wider measures are being looked at outside the scope of this report to tackle and help improve air quality across the borough.


Because of the range of views held regarding the most effective approach to tackle air quality in Shalford, a vote was held on the recommendation.




The Guildford Joint Committee agreed that  the Air Quality Action Plan for Shalford in Appendix 1 of the committee report be adopted.


Result of vote on the recommendation:

For 14, Against 3, Abstention 1


Reasons for recommendation:

To ensure the Council meets its statutory duties to adopt an air quality management area action plan and to improve air quality within the Air Quality Management Area in Shalford.

Supporting documents: