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Council will not act on Air Pollution

July 23, 2008 1:13 PM

Epsom & Ewell borough council will not prepare any action plan to deal with air pollution levels in Ewell High Street "until we receive any dire problems", according to the Chairman of their Social Committee, answering a formal question at a meeting of the borough council on Tuesday 22nd July.

Liberal Democrat councillors at the meeting were stunned to be told that nothing was planned and that only after another 12 months will the council be in a position to "undertake measures to reduce NO2 levels or make recommendations."

Cllrs Julie Morris and Christine Key (College) have continually pressed the Chairman on what action the council proposes to take to reduce unacceptable nitrogen dioxide levels. The Lib Dems want traffic patterns to be reviewed, volume limitations considered and discussion with the Local Highways Committee to ultimately seek a solution to air quality problems.

Cllr Morris commented "We don't know what the Chairman classifies as a "dire" problem, but it's simply not good enough to let the matter rest and wait for the health of residents living in the area to deteriorate or suffer before the council is prepared to come up with an action plan. We've known NO2 levels are high for five years. What is another year's monitoring going to tell us other than NO2 readings will probably be even higher by then."

With increased air quality monitoring in Epsom High Street and at other sites, Lib Dem councillors will be watching readings closely and alerting local residents if levels become higher anywhere else in the borough. They claim that the maximum recommended limits are set for good reason and that the council has a duty to act accordingly.