BASILDON Council has joined with business bosses across the borough to fight plans for a charging clean air zone on the A127.

The council, and the Basildon Business Group, have written to the Secretary of State to 'air' their concerns over the plans for the charging zone.

The proposals, which include the junctions south of the A127 at Upper and East Mayne, aim to improve the quality of air over Basildon, but have faced stiff opposition before.

Now, Gavin Callaghan, the leader of Basildon Council, has written to Theresa Villers, stating that the charging zone would have a detrimental effect to the economy in the area.

Mr Callaghan also states in the letter that Basildon businesses are committed to reducing NO2 levels and improving air quality.

He said: "The quality of air in our borough is of great concern to all of us.

"We believe a non-charging clean air zone, coupled with other mitigating measures like the reduction of the speed limit to 50mph, will enable continued substantial improvement in air quality in the borough.

"However, the introduction of a charging clean air zone would serve only to damage our businesses and livelihoods and push the problem to other areas like the Basildon stretch of the A13.

“Many of our businesses are already demonstrating their commitment to improving air quality by altering deliveries to times outside of rush hour and replacing their fleets with hybrid and Euro 6 compliant vehicles.

“We are standing together to urge the government to allow sensible non-charging clear air measures instead and we’ve offered to meet with the Secretary of State to discuss this in more detail.”