Havering Council unveils £125k plan to tackle air pollution until 2023

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 December 2017

File photo dated 10/04/15 of air pollution over London. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

File photo dated 10/04/15 of air pollution over London. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Havering Council is set to greenlight a £125,000 five-year plan to help curb the borough's rising problems with air pollution.

A draft copy of the council’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) 2018-2023 is set to go before cabinet members at Havering Town Hall later today (Wed).

The council’s draft air quality plan highlights the M25, A12, A13 and A127 as major sources of emissions within the borough, but also points to numerous industrial estates across Hornchurch, Rainham and Romford, as well as the Upminster Crematorium, as other significant contributors.

Measurements taken in 2013 showed the vast majority of Havering fell well within national guidelines for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, although long swathes of all four major roads were well in excess of the EU-set limit.

To combat rising levels of both, the council has already created “an extensive air quality monitoring network” of nitrogen dioxide tubes, monitoring stations and mesh pods.

But now, with funding from Transport for London’s Local Implementation Plan, the council hopes to use the latest computer modelling ti produce detailed maps of the borough, showing levels of air pollution.

Further plans to use mesh pods around schools to protect children’s health and to improve the borough’s nitrogen dioxide tube networks are also in the works.

The air quality plan reads: “Havering is an outer London borough, known for its large areas of green space and close proximity to Essex, air quality is still a significant issue.

“Though welcome and beneficial for the borough, continued development and growth will inevitably have a detrimental impact on air quality unless action is taken to mitigate these impacts in order to protect those who live, work and visit Havering.

“Havering is now meeting the current legal objectives for particulate matter. However research has shown that this pollutant is damaging to health at any level and as such remains a point of concern.”

But not all is lost, as the report makes clear.

It continues: “On a positive note there are areas of Havering that are not exceeding the national objective for nitrogen dioxide and there are some wonderful green spaces and parks where everyone can enjoy good air quality.

“There are however a significant number of “hotspots” of poor air quality in Havering which need to be addressed.”

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