30 November 2016
On Monday 28th November 2016 we were taken aback to read this press release from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC)
Air quality, particularly at the 2 Air Quality Management Areas ( AQMAs) in Nuneaton has long been of concern to us in the local party. We have been keeping a keen eye on the figures and have spoken at the Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel in the past. With planning permissions for around 4000 homes in Weddington and St. Nicolas wards granted ( but mostly yet to be built), the amount of traffic having to pass the Leicester Road gyratory system in order to get to town is going to increase significantly. Contrary to what NBBC say in the press release the air quality has not been improving in the Leicester Road gyratory -it has remained fairly similar for the last few years. The legal limit is an average but the levels of NOx at various times are higher, and, of course, NOx is not the only pollutant causing damage. Many of the other smaller particulates should be being monitored too.
With so much change occurring on the East side of Nuneaton, we are strongly of the opinion that the area should remain under continuous monitoring. If it is not monitored, how will they know if it is getting worse? Also by monitoring it, they should be able to get more money out of developers for mitigation measures, such as improved walking routes to schools, public transport, safe cycle routes etc.
We have been in touch with the people who do the Highway monitoring (traffic flows etc) at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and also with the Public Health Team at WCC.
There is ample evidence now available about the detrimental effects of air pollution on populations. Only last week this was on the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38078488
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