RBC and the applicant have claimed on many occasions that the MRT will improve air quality on Reading’s roads. They persist in this claim despite the application itself showing that the impact will be neglible. In RBC’s press release announcing that the MRT application will be revised and re-submitted Tony Page again made the claim that:
The only solution [to growth in Wokingham and Bracknell] is to offer people realistic, easy and sustainable travel options which will help to manage future demands on Reading’s roads, including managing levels of congestion and air quality.
Cllr Tony Page
The applicant’s own evidence on air quality in 2021 shows high levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution, close to WHO target levels, both with and without the proposed scheme.
The predicted air quality along the A4 in 2021 is not good and should be improved to give greater margins below WHO target levels, but as Reading Friends of the Earth point out:
There is no evidence presented that the scheme will have a significant beneficial effect on air quality.
John Booth, Reading Friends of the Earth
The applicant and Reading and Wokingham Borough Councils must stop attempting to justify the scheme on the basis of improvements to air quality. If they continue to do so they are quite simply being dishonest.