Call for air pollution readings over concerns new Penwortham Bypass will "improve one hotspot but cause another"

Councillors from left, David Howarth, Angela Turner and Harry Hancock, are concerned about the air quality around the Bank Top Road area of Penwortham
Councillors from left, David Howarth, Angela Turner and Harry Hancock, are concerned about the air quality around the Bank Top Road area of Penwortham
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Council bosses are being urged to take urgent action over air pollution concerns around Penwortham’s newest road junction.

Councillors in the town say that while the soon-to-open Penwortham Bypass will greatly improve air quality at the junction of Liverpool Road with Cop Lane, they are worried it could create another hotspot off Bank Top Road.

The roundabout will service four lanes of traffic from the south, four lanes from the bypass, traffic from the junctions of Bank Top Road and Millbrook Way, along with the through route to Preston.

>>>Click here for the latest on the bypass work

Now South Ribble’s Liberal Democrat team have asked the council for air quality readings and measurements to be taken at both the roundabout and properties in Acorn Close, Meadows Reach, Moorside Drive, Broad Oak Lane and Blackberry Way.

Councillor David Howarth said: “We need to know what the air quality levels are like, whether they’re high or not, and whether the new bypass opening affects this. I’ve counted around 12 sets of traffic lights in that area, and that’s not including pedestrian crossings. It’s constant stop-start traffic.

“Residents in the area are very worried about it, air quality is a massive issue. As well as houses in the area there are cycle paths and footpaths, and children going to school are going to be breathing in fumes.”

He added: “If the readings come back and there is a problem, then we will be pressing Lancashire County Council to do something about it - it’s their highway.”

A set of local residents have volunteered to have reading tubes placed in their gardens.

Speaking after consultation with Lancashire County Council, South Ribble Borough Councillor Susan Jones, cabinet member for environment said: “Improving air quality across the borough is a high priority for the Council and have an air quality action plan in place.

“SRBC are looking into air quality measuring in Penwortham and will be working alongside LCC to develop the programme.”