John Baron MP, Mark Francois MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP, Cllr Tony Hedley, Cllr David Finch and representatives of Basildon Borough Council and Essex County Council today met with government Minister Rebecca Pow at Parliament to discuss air quality in Upper Mayne and East Mayne.
The A127 speed limit reduction is on course to improve air quality along the road, but modelling shows that small areas of East Mayne and Upper Mayne may continue to exceed limits after the reduction.
The meeting explored measures to improve the air quality in these areas without having to resort to charging in a Clean Air Zone – MPs and Councillors were united in their opposition to punitive measures and agreed with the Minister to meet again shortly to further explore alternative options.
John Baron MP wrote in a statement:
“We had a constructive meeting with the Minister during which we empathised our complete opposition to any form of congestion or clean air zone charging. In accepting the importance of reducing emissions, we have agreed to look at alternative arrangements at our next meeting which will be held shortly. Any measures to improve the environment must be proportionate.”
Stephen Metcalfe MP said:
“All 3 local MPs are committed to find a workable alterative to this ridiculous proposal of a charging zone in Basildon. While we must improve our air quality, any solution has to be proportionate to the impact such a charging zone could have on the 45,000 jobs within the enterprise corridor.”
“Air quality is poor in 2 locations within the proposed charge zone area, however a broad-brush approach is not the right solution.”