Greens launch campaign against air pollution in Winchester city centre

Hampshire Chronicle: Greens launch campaign against sir pollution in Winchester city centre Greens launch campaign against sir pollution in Winchester city centre

WINCHESTER green campaigners are taking their battle to clean up filthy air to the European Union.

They are to formally complain to the European Commission about the chronic breaking of EU air quality lows.

This afternoon Green Euro-MP Keith Taylor will be in the city to highlight the complaint.

For years the city centre has had high levels of nitrogen dioxide, some 25 per cent over the maximum permitted under both EU and UK legislation.

Long-term exposure to NO2 at these levels is thought to increase the likelihood of asthma attacks and respiratory illness in children.

The campaigners are calling for the problem to be tackled by cutting traffic in the city centre.

Winchester Friends of the Earth asked the city council to produce a plan to meet the legal Air Quality requirements over a specific timescale. The council declined to provide such a plan, says FoE.

Mr Taylor, Green Party MEP, said: “I’m glad that people in Winchester have taken this bold step to voice their concerns about the air quality problem at a European level. Air pollution levels in the town are worryingly high and we’ve seen no serious action from either the city or the county council.

“I’m pleased to be supporting their complaint to the European Commission in Brussels. It’s high time that action was taken to make Winchester a healthier, safer place to live in and travel around.”

Dr Michael Wilks, of Winchester Green Party, said “The health implications of a traffic-dominated town are very serious, both directly and indirectly. Indirectly, traffic inhibits the healthy alternatives to car access to the city – walkers and cyclists are deterred, intimidated and put in positive danger in a car-dominated street system.  Motor traffic directly affects the health of Winchester residents through pollution.”

Hazel Agombar of Friends of the Earth said: “As a mother of children in a city centre school directly affected by the traffic, I constantly ask myself why it is that the city council believes it is so much more important to listen to the lobbying of business interests than to try and prevent our children being poisoned. We have waited years for the Council to take proper responsibility for this.”

Comments (9)

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6:52pm Fri 30 Nov 12

chumpster says...

The focus here has to be on reducing emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles, which include buses. I would imagine that cars are not the primary reason for the high levels of NO2 in Winchester.
The focus here has to be on reducing emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles, which include buses. I would imagine that cars are not the primary reason for the high levels of NO2 in Winchester. chumpster
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Mike_Robinson says...

Winchester does suffer with traffic problems. From my viewpoint there are a couple of problems. The first being that traffic wanting to get from the south to the north of the city is obliged to go through the city centre, adding to the pollution There is no other practical alternative that I know of. Perhaps we need a better scheme than the current one way system, which is often blocked by inconsiderate delivery drivers. Much of the traffic seems to be going up to the hospital, county council buildings, prison or police head quarters. These bodies could do more to encourage their staff to use the park & ride schemes too.
Winchester does suffer with traffic problems. From my viewpoint there are a couple of problems. The first being that traffic wanting to get from the south to the north of the city is obliged to go through the city centre, adding to the pollution There is no other practical alternative that I know of. Perhaps we need a better scheme than the current one way system, which is often blocked by inconsiderate delivery drivers. Much of the traffic seems to be going up to the hospital, county council buildings, prison or police head quarters. These bodies could do more to encourage their staff to use the park & ride schemes too. Mike_Robinson
  • Score: 0

11:00am Sat 1 Dec 12

Belgarum says...

Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst.
Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst. Belgarum
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Sat 1 Dec 12

canonstreet says...

Winchester will always have high No2 levels because the air quality station is located on the one way system opposite McDonald's. short of placing the sensor up an exhaust, it would be hard to get higher figures. It was placed there to get spurious high readings because by recording the high No2 levels meant that the city council qualified for large grants from the EU which have paid a large contribution towards the park and ride. Forgetting the data, if one actually considers the winchester environment alongside industrial cities (which are apparently cleaner!) then the nonsense of the data will e appreciated. I'd love to see No2 readings from more representative locations.
Winchester will always have high No2 levels because the air quality station is located on the one way system opposite McDonald's. short of placing the sensor up an exhaust, it would be hard to get higher figures. It was placed there to get spurious high readings because by recording the high No2 levels meant that the city council qualified for large grants from the EU which have paid a large contribution towards the park and ride. Forgetting the data, if one actually considers the winchester environment alongside industrial cities (which are apparently cleaner!) then the nonsense of the data will e appreciated. I'd love to see No2 readings from more representative locations. canonstreet
  • Score: 0

10:23am Sun 2 Dec 12

chumpster says...

Good call cannonstreet, especially as this is where a good number of Winchester buses pass from a standing (hill) start at the lights opposite paper chase, thus spewing maximum NO2 right into the strategically placed sensor. I suspect moving this sensor by 20 feet in any direction would significantly reduce the NO2 readings...
Good call cannonstreet, especially as this is where a good number of Winchester buses pass from a standing (hill) start at the lights opposite paper chase, thus spewing maximum NO2 right into the strategically placed sensor. I suspect moving this sensor by 20 feet in any direction would significantly reduce the NO2 readings... chumpster
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Sun 2 Dec 12

retiredoldgit says...

Yes, the council is taking measures to reduce pollution from motor vehicles with park and ride and cycle schemes. However it seems incapable of reducing the number of city centre parking places because it just loves the income stream they generate.

For example why not give up the "temporary" St Peters car park?

If people can still drive into the city centre and park there the pollution problem will remain.

Why not give up the "temporary" St Peters car park?
Yes, the council is taking measures to reduce pollution from motor vehicles with park and ride and cycle schemes. However it seems incapable of reducing the number of city centre parking places because it just loves the income stream they generate. For example why not give up the "temporary" St Peters car park? If people can still drive into the city centre and park there the pollution problem will remain. Why not give up the "temporary" St Peters car park? retiredoldgit
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Sun 2 Dec 12

wheresthemoneygone says...

Be less reliant on cars, leave your car at home except for essential journeys.Most of 'central Winchester' can be easily reached by foot or bicycle. This is an opportunity for citizens to contribute, albeit in a small way, to helping cease the poison of our local environment and whole planet.Let's built a more sustainable and intelligent future.Simple but feasible and true.
Be less reliant on cars, leave your car at home except for essential journeys.Most of 'central Winchester' can be easily reached by foot or bicycle. This is an opportunity for citizens to contribute, albeit in a small way, to helping cease the poison of our local environment and whole planet.Let's built a more sustainable and intelligent future.Simple but feasible and true. wheresthemoneygone
  • Score: 0

10:02am Mon 3 Dec 12

Yves1977 says...

Belgarum wrote:
Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst.
Of course it is one-sided - its about a campaign being launched.
There are also more than one measuring stations. One is on Friarsgate; I think there's another near the Castle
[quote][p][bold]Belgarum[/bold] wrote: Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst.[/p][/quote]Of course it is one-sided - its about a campaign being launched. There are also more than one measuring stations. One is on Friarsgate; I think there's another near the Castle Yves1977
  • Score: 0

10:07am Thu 6 Dec 12

SunSmart Energy says...

Belgarum wrote:
Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst.
I'm not sure how this could be anything other than one-sided. As far as I'm aware there are no pressure groups starting campaigns which advocate more air pollution in Winchester.

Matt@SunSmart
[quote][p][bold]Belgarum[/bold] wrote: Yet another one-sided press release regurgitated by the HC, with no thought of doing any research or editorial effort (or even providing a balanced story) first. Lazy non-evidence-based journalism at its very worst.[/p][/quote]I'm not sure how this could be anything other than one-sided. As far as I'm aware there are no pressure groups starting campaigns which advocate more air pollution in Winchester. Matt@SunSmart SunSmart Energy
  • Score: 0

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