Concerned residents team up to monitor air pollution levels

Residents in Lancing and Shoreham, who fear that air pollution levels are dangerously high, have teamed up to measure the extent of the problem.

Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:05 pm
Residents have teamed up to gather their own data on nitrogen dioxide levels

Barb O’Kelly, of Fairfield Close, in Shoreham, fears the housing developments proposed in the Adur Local Plan would make traffic and pollution in the area even worse, creating further risk to public health.

But despite these being ‘major concerns’ to many residents, she said the twin issues of traffic and pollution were mentioned ‘only fleetingly’ at the local plan examination – which Mrs O’Kelly said added ‘fuel to our sense of injustice’.

“We feel the issue has to be brought to the fore,” the 73-year-old said. “The plan has not been thought out with respects to what is best for the local community.

“Pollution affects everyone.”

She is particularly concerned about the proximity of the proposed primary school at New Monks Farm to the A27.

She and other residents plan to do traffic counts and have set up diffusion tubes to measure nitrogen dioxide levels in key areas – including in Shoreham High Street.

A group of residents in Lancing plan to do the same on the A27 and other main roads.

Mrs O’Kelly acknowledges that some monitoring by the council is already taking place and said: “The council is doing the best it can, given its financial constraints.”

But she questioned whether data collection was occurring in the most suitable locations and said she had found it ‘really hard’ to get statistics.

The group will publish their own data to inform the community.

“I don’t know what the solution is, but I want to make people aware,” said Mrs O’Kelly, who added that it may persuade residents to rethink their car journeys.

Bill Freeman, secretary of the Lancing Manor South East Residents Network, is coordinating the project in Lancing.

He said: “Our health and particularly the health of our families is a major concern.

“We have concerns that Adur council aren’t on the case.

“We want to find out for ourselves what the situation is.”

He said New Monks Farm was of particular concern, because of the increase in cars the proposed IKEA, school and 600 homes would potentially bring.

A spokesperson for Adur and Worthing Councils said: “We share all of our residents concerns about the increase in traffic and its damaging effect on our environment.

“The councils have responded in detail to the questions raised by local residents, via a thorough written response.”

Adur District Council ‘constantly monitors levels of nitrogen dioxide’ in the area and initial results for 2016 showed all sites to be below the annual mean objective of 40 micrograms per cubic meter, the spokesperson said.

This data will be published once national adjustment figures have been applied, added the spokesperson.
“However, Shoreham High Street does remain a concern, as levels were just below this objective,” the spokesperson said.

“The councils continuous monitoring equipment in Shoreham High Street has been out of action recently but we are replacing it and hope to have it up and running again in the next month or so.”

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