Mayor dismisses concerns on Chiswick's air quality

Says tram and C-Charge will reduce local pollution

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Air Quality Management report by Hounslow Council

DETR site showing Chiswick Air Quality


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The Mayor has responded to questions by a local Councillor about Chiswick's air quality by dismissing concerns that the sharp deterioration seen in 2003 is anything to be concerned about. However, his response seemed to suggest he was unsure about where Chiswick actually was.

In a written reply to Cllr. Gary Malcolm who is a Councillor for Southfield ward and Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for the Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush constituency, Ken Livingstone says that weather conditions during the period caused a general rise across the capital and that Chiswick was not unique in this respect.

In 2003 all the active roadside sites within the London Air Quality Network exceeded the UK annual average nitrogen dioxide objective. This was a reversal of the trend seen since 1996. Newer cleaner vehicles had been leading to a steady fall in air pollution.

The average rise across the capital was 13% according to the London Air Quality in London 2003 Preliminary Report but the rise in Chiswick over the same period was 42% according to figures from Hounslow Council.

The London Air Quality Network has a target for sites that a concentration of 200 µgm-3 (105 ppb), as an hourly mean, should not to be exceeded more than 18 times per year. This was not achieved in 9 sites in London of which, for the first time, Chiswick High Road was one. There were 87 such occurences in Chiswick over the year with only 5 sites across the capital having a worse record including places such as the Marylebone Road.

Cllr. Malcolm expressed disappointment with the Mayor's response saying, "Basically he says all the large schemes he is doing (West London tram, extension to congestion charge) will reduce emissions in the area. This is not really true as the area will expect more cars from the Uxbridge Rd and more vehicles via an extension to the congestion scheme if it goes ahead."

He did agree with the Mayor's contention that Boroughs should have an effective Air Quality Management plan and said that it was important that both Hounslow and Ealing Council worked together on this issue.

Ken Livingstone also plans to tackle air quality through a Low Emission Zone which he wants to see operational by 2007 and urged London boroughs to support the scheme.

The Mayor seems to be somewhat confused about the location of Chiswick in his response asking Cllr. Malcolm if Ealing Council's Air Quality Action Plan deals effectively with the level of pollution on Chiswick High Road. Chiswick High Road is in Hounslow Borough.

Nitrogen Dioxide Rates on Chiswick High Road

Source: London Borough of Hounslow

November 4, 2004