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What does the Ministerial Directive actually state?

The Direction served under Section 85(5) of the Environment Act 1995 on the 19 March 2019 requires the Rushmoor and Surrey Heath Borough Councils and Hampshire and Surrey County Councils to implement the speed limit restriction and provide to Government a Full Business Case by 17 May 2019 at the latest.

“The authorities must ensure that the local Plan for NO2 compliance is implement so that –

a) Compliance with the legal limit value for nitrogen dioxide is achieved in the shortest possible time, and by 2021 at the latest;

b) Exposure to levels of the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide are reduced as quickly as possible.”


In addition:

“The authorities must prepare a full business case for the areas for which they are responsible.

The full business case must be submitted to the Secretary of State as soon as possible and by 17 May 2019 at the latest.”


The Full Business Case ​was submitted to the Secretary of State on 17 May 2019.


The speed limit reduction measure was implemented in June 2019.

Why is there an issue when there are no houses in the vicinity?

Modelling undertaken at a national level, to inform the UK Plan, assessed compliance of the EU Limit value along roads where there is public access within 15m, such as a footpath or cycle track running parallel to it. Where there was no public access the road link was excluded.


The A331 has been identified due to the presence of the Blackwater Valley path that runs along it. The precise distance of this path from the A331 is shaped by the presence of the Blackwater River and the Reading to Guildford railway line.  Whereas a footpath would not be considered a relevant receptor under the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) process when assessing an annual mean air quality standard, the UK Plan considers it as representing public access, no matter what the length of time someone may be present for at that location.

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