Northampton's Bus Station has caused a Public Health Emergency

8 November 2016

Council figures obtained via FOI show that North Gate pollution has been consistently above legal limits since bus

station was opened. Green Party calls on new leadership at Borough Council to take this problem seriously and to

fast-track a new Air Quality Management Area around the bus station.

At the end of September, the Northamptonshire Green Party released the results of our air quality measurement

around North Gate Bus Station, showing that the air pollution around the bus station is well above the legal limits,

and called upon the Borough Council to declare a new Air Quality Management Area.

The Borough Council response was that it had no intention to do so, as it’s Low Emission Strategy set out a plan to

tackle air pollution across the entire town.

Since then, the Government has lost a legal case and been forced to admit that its plans for tackling air pollution

were unrealistic and based on over-optimistic estimates of the savings to be made from moving to Low Emission


Northampton Borough Council’s Low Emission Strategy is guilty of the same errors.

In Northampton, 6.1% of deaths every year are believed to be premature deaths caused by air pollution. This is

above the national average, higher than anywhere else in the County, and accounts for more than 100 deaths each

year in the town.

When we raised the issue of the air pollution around North Gate, the Cabinet Member for the Environment advised

that air pollution was only really a problem at peak times. We didn’t believe that, so we requested the Council’s

figures for air quality around North Gate, and they show that, since the opening of the bus station up to the end of

2015, the levels were exceeded 80% of the time. The yearly averages for 2014 and for 2015 are both above the legal


The figures for 2013 show that this issue is directly related to the opening of the new Bus Station. This air quality

problem has been caused by the Council, and the Council has subsequently been denying the problem exists.

It’s not good enough.

We note that the new leader of the Borough Council has appointed a new Cabinet Member for the Environment, and

would like to welcome Councillor Mike Hallam to the post. We are hopeful that this change of role signifies that the

Council is prepared to think again and tackle the air pollution problems seriously.

To demonstrate that it is prepared to do so, we challenge both the new Leader and the new Cabinet Member for the


Take this opportunity to accept that the air quality issue at North Gate is affecting the health of people in

Northampton every day and fast track this as a new Air Quality Management Area. This is a public health emergency

and the people living and working in Northampton need you to take it seriously, starting from now.

Contacts available for further comment :

Steve Miller, or 07598 735524

Tony Clarke, 07971 040166

RSS Feed The Green Party in Northamptonshire RSS Feed

Back to main page