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Our meeting with Council air quality team

On 18 June we met with Greenwich’s Environmental Health Manager (Pollution), Eric Broom, and Nick Marks and Surjit Nashad to discuss air quality monitoring. It was a productive initial interaction in which we shared our sample results, heard more about the Council’s work, and flagged some specific issues.

Our sample results appear to match those of the Council. Levels of NO2 pollution are in breach of legal limits along main roads, and quiet streets have quite elevated levels.

The Council have 11 automated stations throughout the Borough (3 in or near East Greenwich). They continue the annual monitoring with NO2 tubes like ours at 58 sites of which 3 are in our area. There are no plans to reduce this impressive number. Indeed one site in Bexley has recently been adopted by the Council instead of closing.

All this means we have a rich data set to use and much of it is in the Air Quality Progress Report.

We are beginning to use the information in planning applications. Requesting mitigation measures for developments on badly polluted sites, questioning developer environmental assessments and requiring cumulative pollution impacts all register our concerns.

We should respond to major public consultations. And September may bring a “perfect storm” of 3 consultations; one on a national strategy (after the Supreme Court ruling), one from the Greater London Authority on how the Council must develop an Action Plan, and possibly one on the Silvertown Tunnel.

There is much we can do to support the Borough when we think it’s right. Many initiatives are contained in the Action Plan. A big issue is the Ultra Low Emission Zone. Greenwich would officially like to see it cover all London and not just to Westminster and the City. Do we agree?

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