Erewash folk are breathing cleaner air than many in UK

Air pollution in Erewash is within safe limits – bucking the national trend which has seen hundreds of breaches elsewhere across England.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 10:57 am

An analysis of council reports carried out by Friends of the Earth found levels of nitrogen dioxide at more than 1,000 monitoring sites across England were failing to meet air quality targets.

It warns that failing to fix air pollution costs lives, and shows a failure to address the climate crisis.

The audit found no sites in Erewash where the average level of nitrogen dioxide exceeded 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

Air quality in Erewash is better than many other parts of the UK

The average must be below 40 to meet government air quality targets, while World Health Organisation guidelines set this as a safe limit to protect public health.

According to Friends of the Earth, road traffic is the leading cause of nitrogen dioxide pollution.

Nationally, 1,360 sites failed to meet the 40 micrograms target in 2018.

Although this was down from 1,591 the previous year, Friends of the Earth said the figure was still shocking.

Simon Bowens, the group’s clean air campaigner, said: “Failing to fix air pollution costs lives and also shows a failure to address the climate crisis.

“If ministers want to avoid a return to the health-damaging and illegal levels of air pollution we had before lockdown, their enthusiasm for ‘active travel’ needs to be a permanent switch and not just a short-term plugger.”

The Government recently announced plans to boost cycling and walking, including a pledge to build thousands of miles of bike lanes, which will be paid for by £2 billion of funding announced earlier this year.

But environmental campaigners have criticised a separate commitment to invest £27 billion in roadbuilding over the next five years.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: “Air pollution has reduced significantly since 2010 – emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen by 33 per cent and are at their lowest level since records began.

“But there is more to do, which is why we are taking urgent action through the delivery of our £3.8 billion plan to clean up transport and tackle NO2 pollution.”