On my mind

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - With Gra­ham Davies ■ Fol­low Gra­ham on Twit­[email protected]

AS the Trans-Siberian ex­press train veered down into China the clouds of pol­luted air hanging over and bil­low­ing into the mas­sively pop­u­lated cities was as­ton­ish­ing.

In Be­jing, a city of air pu­ri­fiers, masks and uniden­ti­fi­able build­ings, a wave of thick, heavy warm air filled my lungs, it wasn’t the scenery that took my breath away but the pol­lu­tants of ex­haust emis­sion from the five mil­lion cars in the city.

We are not close to that in the UK, but a re­cent air pol­lu­tion map from Friends of the Earth has iden­ti­fied al­most 2,000 lo­ca­tions with lev­els of air pol­lu­tion that ex­ceed safety lim­its.

Wales has some of the worst air qual­ity in the UK and on the map there are two hotspots in Car­marthen­shire, both in Llanelli.

Road trans­port is the pri­mary source of emis­sions, in­creas­ing lev­els of ni­tro­gen diox­ide above the na­tional Air Qual­ity Stan­dards.

We don’t re­ally need to be told where the devel­op­ing prob­lems are – just take as short a walk as pos­si­ble along the mis­nomered Sandy (more soot and grit than sand) Road and in­crease dra­mat­i­cally your risk of res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases and short­en­ing your life.

Most of us are aware that the county coun­cil has al­lowed a mas­sive in­crease in house build­ing along and ap­proach­ing the AQMA (Air Qual­ity Man­age­ment Area) route.

Most of us also know what needs to be done and it needs a mixed ap­proach, and quickly. Here’s a start. Avoid breath­ing in when walk­ing to­wards Llanelli.

Get out of your car and walk.

Share your car. Sell your car. Em­i­grate.

Buy a bike.

Take a small bus. Tell the coun­cil to put a stop on new hous­ing and build a by­pass be­fore Llanelli grinds to a halt and dis­ap­pears in a cloud of gas.

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