Rugby Road air qual­ity is the worst in town

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS - LUCY LYNCH hinck­ley­times@reach­

RUGBY Road is the worst place in Hinck­ley for air pol­lu­tion.

Read­ings taken at traf­fic lights be­side the en­trance to The Cres­cent showed an aver­age of 36 mi­cro­grams of ni­tro­gen diox­ide in ev­ery cu­bic me­tre of air over a year. Govern­ment guide­lines set a limit of 40 mi­cro­grams of ni­tro­gen diox­ide in a cu­bic me­tre of air in a year.

Fur­ther down Rugby Road out­side the Hinck­ley Hub there is a lower read­ing of 26 mi­cro­grams of ni­tro­gen diox­ide per cu­bic me­tre.

The worst place in the Hinck­ley and Bos­worth bor­ough is Shaw Lane in Mark­field. Level of ni­tro­gen diox­ide have reached govern­ment limit of 40 mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre of air.

The read­ings were taken by Hinck­ley and Bos­worth Bor­ough Coun­cil and ap­pear in a re­port for the coun­cil’s scru­tiny com­mis­sion.

A spokesper­son for Hinck­ley and Bos­worth Bor­ough Coun­cil said: “Lo­cal Au­thor­i­ties have a statu­tory duty to man­age lo­cal air qual­ity un­der the En­vi­ron­ment Act 1995. As part of this duty HBBC reg­u­larly re­views and as­sesses air qual­ity in the bor­ough against stan­dards and ob­jec­tives pre­scribed by reg­u­la­tions.

“Traf­fic emis­sions are now re­spon­si­ble for the great­est im­pact upon air qual­ity na­tion­ally, with ni­tro­gen diox­ide (NO2) be­ing the main pol­lu­tant of con­cern. HBBC has a num­ber of mon­i­tor­ing sites across the bor­ough which mea­sure NO2.

“Mon­i­tor­ing car­ried out in 2017 has shown that the air qual­ity across the bor- ough was com­fort­ably within the pre­scribed air qual­ity ob­jec­tive val­ues at all but one mon­i­tor­ing lo­ca­tion along Shaw Lane in Mark­field. This site is close to the ob­jec­tive value and will con­tinue to be kept un­der re­view.”

Ni­tro­gen diox­ide is a brown gas cre­ated when fuel is burnt such as in petrol en­gines, diesel en­gines and gas boil­ers. High lev­els can lead to lung in­flam­ma­tion. If peo­ple breathe in high lev­els of ni­tro­gen diox­ide over a long pe­riod their lungs can be dam­aged. The gas par­tic­u­larly af­fects peo­ple with asthma.

If read­ings show ni­tro­gen diox­ide has risen above 40 mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre the coun­cil must de­clare the site at Air Qual­ity Man­age­ment Area and take steps, usu­ally in­volv­ing reg­u­lat­ing traf­fic flow, to re­duce the pol­lu­tion.

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