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Agenda item

Air Quality

Updates from the Devizes Air Quality and Transport Strategy Group, with a focus on cycling.

 

To include an update from Sustainable Devizes.

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Gamble, as Chairman of the Air Quality and Transport Strategy (AQTS) group stated that a positive meeting had been held on 6 October 2020, the notes of which could be found at pages 29-34 of the agenda pack. The terms of reference for the group were reviewed and the revised terms would be brought for formal approval at a future meeting of the area board.

 

Air quality data for the town was examined, figures for 2019 showed that almost all locations were already below objective levels. The pandemic had further improved air quality although data would not be representative as it had been such an unusual year.

 

The Public Transport Team were looking at services across Wiltshire and were considering implementing a Marlborough to Devizes bus service. Devizes Town services were being reviewed and the AQTS group stated their wish that any review should look at bus services to the new health centre on Marshall Road.

 

It was explained that there had been discussion regarding £12,000 which had been allocated from AQTS funds in 2012 to the study of the Devizes Gateway railway station project. These funds had not yet been used and as the project was now progressing the Board was asked to agree that £12,000 could be provided from the AQTS budget as a local contribution to the business case report for the Devizes Gateway station. Cllr Gamble proposed a motion to that effect which was seconded by Cllr Laura Mayes. It was;

 

Resolved

 

That Devizes Area Board approve the Devizes Air Quality and Transport Strategy group providing £12,000 from their budget as a local contribution to the business case report for the Devizes Gateway station.    

 

It was stated that an excellent survey on cycling had been undertaken by Sustainable Devizes and Cllr Gamble invited Graham Martin of Sustainable Devizes to give an update to the meeting.

 

Graham Martin explained that Sustainable Devizes had wanted to build on the uptake in cycling that occurred during lock down. Therefore, a survey had been undertaken which had over 264 respondents. It was stated that one of the main reasons people were intimidated by cycling was due to the volume of traffic; the state of the roads and a lack of routes, particularly routes linking surrounding villages and the town. It was hoped that an alliance could be formed to make Devizes cycle friendly. The vision was to create the conditions where cycling was an everyday means of travel.

 

As part of the initial work on this it was hoped that the alliance could be created; stakeholders would be engaged; routes could be identified and designed and these routes could then be mapped and promoted. It was explained that the group had a small multi-skilled team and wanted to establish a working relationship with the Wiltshire Council School Travel Advisor and the Climate Emergency Task Group as well as the Devizes AQTS group.

 

Cllr Whitehead stated that Wiltshire Council had received tranche 2 of the government funding for cycle lanes although had not received the full amount applied for. Cycle lanes would be consulted on and residents were encouraged to take part in consultations. Details of those consultations could be found here: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council-democracy-consultations.

 

Cllr Gamble thanked Sustainable Devizes and requested that they came back to the next meeting of the area board to update and possibly to present proposed cycle routes.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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