The rhetoric and realities of integrating air quality into local transport planning process
Olowoporoku, A., Hayes, E. T., Longhurst, J. and Parkhurst, G. (2012) The rhetoric and realities of integrating air quality into local transport planning process. Journal of Environmental Management, 101 (30). pp. 23-32. ISSN 0301-4797
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.01.017
Regardless of its intent and purposes, the first decade of the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) framework had little or no effect in reducing traffic-related air pollution in the UK. Apart from the impact of increased traffic volumes, the major factor attributed to this failure is that of policy disconnect between the process of diagnosing air pollution and its management thereby limiting the capability of local authorities to control traffic-related sources of air pollution. Integrating air quality management into the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process therefore presents opportunities for enabling political will, funding and joined-up policy approach to reduce this limitation. However, despite the increased access to resources for air quality measures within the LTP process, this paper highlights local institutional, political and funding constraints which reduce the impact of these policy interventions on air quality management. The results of this study illustrate the policy implementation gaps between central government policy intentions and the local government process by providing evidence of the deprioritisation of air quality management compared to the other shared priorities in the LTP process. The paper draws conclusions on the policy and practice of integrating air quality management into transport planning. It argues the need for a policy shift from a solely localised hotspot management approach, in which the LAQM framework operates, to a more holistic management of vehicular emissions within wider spatial administrative areas.