In common with many towns and cities in Britain these days, Caerleon has to come to terms with growing traffic pollution. Councillors Gail Giles, Paul Huntley and Cliff Suller, along with many residents, have become increasingly concerned about air quality in the centre of the town. Air Quality tests confirmed that pollution levels in places like the High Street were excessively high and further action needed to be taken. There are no easy solutions, but they have been urging council officials for some years to come up with answers.
Our councillors are pleased to say that the problem has been given much thought, and they will continue to discuss possible actions with the relevant officials as a matter of urgency.
A study by consultants identified that one issue leading to congestion on the High Street (and therefore pollution) was that buses using the bus stop near the northern end of the Common have to block the road because of parking by other vehicles. This causes traffic at busy periods to back up along the Common. Council officers are looking into the possibility of losing 2 parking spaces just before the bus stop and putting down double yellow lines there.
Officers are contacting bus companies to discuss the age of vehicles which use the High Street. This includes companies bringing children in to school from Monmouthshire. They are also looking at funding bus companies to help them reduce pollution.
Officers have visited a number of companies on industrial estates to find out how they use their HGVs, and to establish how old they are. There are further surveys to complete but the aim is to establish a relationship with businesses in the area that are contributing to the pollution problem.
Air quality data gathered over recent months is being analysed to see if there are any possible effects which are attributable to the running down/closure of the university site. A close eye is being kept on the planning process for the university site to assess any possible impact that future development there could have on air quality.