Bad Air in Greenwich
East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA) has conducted its own air quality monitoring this year. Harmful nitrogen dioxide was measured at 14 sites over two months, in Spring and Autumn. The results and wider analysis, together with those of the Westcombe Society, the No to Silvertown Tunnel Campaign, and Greenwich Borough, reveal that:
air pollution is bad, being above legal limits on all major roads
it has barely improved since 2005 despite less traffic on some roads
even in quiet streets pollution is at elevated levels, and
new major developments threaten to increase pollution.
Research by Kings College, London estimates that up to 1 in 5 of all premature deaths in Greenwich may be attributable to air pollution. Pollution is also a major contributor to asthma and heart conditions. It is a cause of stunted lung development in children.
EGRA’s draft air quality manifesto recommends 21 actions to tackle bad air. None are magic wands. None are costly, and all must be complemented by London- and nation- wide measures. They include declaring EG or all Greenwich an ultra low emission zone, greater publicity, traffic-free days, and perhaps planting a tree for every resident killed by air pollution.