§ Mr. Shaw
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what resources the Highways Agency has been allocated to meet obligations arising out of designated air quality management areas under the Environment Act 1995. 
§ Mr. Hill
Within its role as network operator the Highways Agency is resourced to meet its obligations under the Environment Act 1995.
Where local authorities decide to designate air quality management areas the Agency is ready to play its part in the preparation and implementation of local authorities' action plans. A number of local authorities have been informally consulted on a document giving information on how best to involve the HA in this process. The final version will be issued shortly.
§ Mr. Meacher
Physical barriers alongside roads are generally erected to reduce the noise impact on adjacent buildings or amenity areas. Noise radiates from a source and so can be effectively blocked by a solid barrier, screening locations behind it. In contrast, air pollution, over a period of time, will find its way over or around the barrier.
I understand that Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council are currently consulting on their stage 3 review and assessment of air pollution in their locality. If there are air pollution problems in the vicinity of a particular road, then the local authority will need to consider with the Highways Agency, where appropriate. the best means of reducing vehicle emissions.