29 September 2016
Green Party figures show North Gate Pollution is 25% above the legal limits. Party challenges Northampton Borough Council to take swift action.
The Green Party testing of Northampton air quality has revealed that the site of the North Gate Bus Station in Northampton Town Centre is a town centre pollution hot spot with illegal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide.
Steve Miller, the secretary of Northampton Green Party said “During the past six months, we have been conducting our own measurements of the air quality in Northampton, using the same methodology as the Council. Our aim is to demonstrate how easy it is to make information available to the public, and the response we have had would suggest that it’s a practice the Council would be wise to emulate.”
As part of this campaign, the Green Party placed a measurement tube next to the North Gate Bus Station. This is not in one of the current Air Quality Management Areas, but the Council had previously confirmed to the Party that they were monitoring the air quality and would take action if required.
This tube has shown higher measurements for Nitrogen Dioxide than any other tube that the Green Party has placed in Northampton. It shows that the levels of pollution around North Gate are 25% higher than the legal levels, affecting everybody who comes into town on bus and visits the town centre.
They have started a second measurement in this area to confirm the accuracy of these figures.
Tony Clarke from the Northampton Green Party said “This is a problem wholly created and given life by the Council. Over the last few years they have taken decisions to build in the wrong areas, to open up pedestrian areas to cars and to deregulate taxi emissions standards. This is affecting the health of people in Northampton, and the public consultation does little to address the issue.”
The NBC Public consultation regarding the Low Emissions Strategy has a month left to run but the Green Party have criticised the Councils lack of engagement. Steve Miller said "It is fair to say that we have been underwhelmed by the scope of the consultation. The Council appears to think that placing a few documents on the internet, and asking people to read them and complete a survey is a suitable way to deal with a public health emergency. We would beg to differ. It’s in the best interest of the town that the public consultation is wide ranging and gets as many responses as possible. This is unlikely to happen, given the current consultation model. “
Before the Public Consultation closes, the Northampton Green Party challenges the Borough Council to release the figures that they currently have for this area, and urge them to follow the Fast-Track process to establish North Gate as an Air Quality Management Area and take it under active control."
Further information about the Air Quality campaign is available at https://northants.greenparty.org.uk/northampton-air-quality.html