Pollution levels in Putney High Street exceed yearly quota just days into 2013

Wandsworth Guardian: Pollution levels exceed yearly quota within days of 2013 Pollution levels exceed yearly quota within days of 2013

Pollution levels have exceeded the yearly Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) quota in Putney High Street within three days of 2013.

The results are a mirror of last year, when the yearly quota had been reached within three days of the start of 2012.

Results from air monitoring equipment show there have been 55 exceedances of NO2 to date, breaching the annual permitted legal limit of 18 exceedances.

It comes after The European Commission have launched 2013 as "A Year of Air" and to review air pollution legislation.

Last year Transport for London (TfL) began a programme to replace buses travelling down the high street with cleaner hybrid models.

But campaigners have said more work needs to be done to stop the high levels of NO2, known to cause asthma, other respiratory conditions and heart disease.

A public meeting is set to take place later this month organised by the Putney Society, with talks from cabinet member for environment Councillor Jonathan Cook and transport Councillor Russell King.

Results from a survey about how people travel in the High Street will also be analysed.

Jonathan Callaway, of the Putney Society, said: "From our perspective we are obviously as concerned as ever. We are very pleased there has been progress with the buses.

"We are now starting to see hybrid buses on the high street and others with low pollution technology, that is a big step forward.

"But clearly more needs to be done, we want to make sure people are aware there is a problem."

Simon Birkett, of the Campaign for Clean Air in London, said: "Instead of lobbying to weaken European air pollution laws, the Mayor should be warning of smog episodes and taking bold action to reduce carcinogenic diesel emissions which make up some 90 per cent of road transport exhaust emissions of nitrogen dioxide."

A council spokesman said: "The council's air quality investigation was a unique piece of research that enabled us to pinpoint local buses as the main source of pollution on this congested road.

"The data we collected pushed Putney right to the front of the queue for green bus funding and TfL has stared to replace or upgrade the offending vehicles. We will be tracking the impact on pollutions levels very closely in the weeks ahead.

"But this is not a quick fix for the high street’s air quality problem and work is continuing on several fronts to bring the pollution level down. An engagement programme with local businesses is encouraging a greener approach to goods deliveries and we have secured an expansion of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme to provide a new alternative to car journeys in Putney.

"We’ve also installed new electric vehicle charging points to promote the growth of this zero emission transport option and will continue to promote car sharing schemes which have proved extremely popular right across Wandsworth."

The public meeting is taking place on January 24, in The Brewer Building, St Mary's Church, Putney High Street at 7.30pm.

Comments (1)

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6:44pm Thu 10 Jan 13

John Lipnicki says...

One of Mayor Johnson's first actions was to take steps to get the West London Congestion Charge Zone abolished. This has clearly had a negative impact on the amount of amount of traffic through south west London.
One of Mayor Johnson's first actions was to take steps to get the West London Congestion Charge Zone abolished. This has clearly had a negative impact on the amount of amount of traffic through south west London. John Lipnicki
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