I’ve read several letters recently from readers concerned about poor air quality locally, especially in certain areas of Chichester. There have also been reports of an increase in cases of asthma, particularly affecting children.
Then I heard on the radio that Southwark council has been taking action by issuing fixed penalty notices with a £20 fine to drivers who do not switch off their engines but allow them to idle.
Other London boroughs have put in place temporary road closures to prevent people driving close to schools to drop off and collect their children.
Places further away have been designated as drop-off zones.
So, I wondered what West Sussex County Council has been doing about this problem which they acknowledge exists.
I wasn’t exactly reassured to read that they have set up a joint action plan which they call ‘Breathing Better’.
They hardly see the problem as urgent since they are set to meet quarterly, and to review their plans just once a year.
It seems to me to be all plan and very little action.
How about some of the measures to restrict traffic near schools which is happening in areas of London?
What about sending out council staff to talk to drivers with idling engines?
Chichester has plenty of examples of this, with the level crossings.
Or must we be satisfied with our elected representatives having a meeting every three months and only once a year looking at their plans to see if there has been any improvement in the quality of the air we breathe?
Stephanie Carn, Whyke Road, Chichester