Air pollution in East Greenwich continues to breach legal limits, our first “citizen science” survey has found. Seven of our 10 air quality monitors the group installed with the assistance of Clean Air UK recorded dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide above permissible limits. Pollution even on quieter streets such as Park Vista, Greenwich Park and Glenforth Streets, shown in blue, was at “elevated” levels not far below the legal limits.
The map shows the sites and the average daily levels of nitrogen dioxide recorded during the month 4 March to 4 April this year. The legal limit for this dangerous pollutant is 40 microgrammes per cubic metre of air. It seems hard the moment to find a spot to breathe clean air in our neighbourhood. What will happen to these illegally high levels when all the planned developments come on stream is even more worrying. We will however be monitoring into the future and will conduct another survey this September.
What can be done?
There is no magic wand to improve air quality. EGRA has called for the start of action. The 1956 Clean Air Act led to slow but dramatic improvements and the end of London’s pea-souper smogs. The battle can be won again. EGRA has called for positive discussions with Greenwich Council yet realises the problem is region-wide. It will share these results with other important bodies such as the Greater London Authority and developers. In the meantime we will continue our air pollution monitoring supported by individual sponsors and the Greenwich Society.
Most residents of East Greenwich know our air is polluted. We want to know how our environment is being further degraded by massive development generating huge additional traffic.