Islington Greens call for ‘citizen science’ to deal with ‘chilling’ air pollution
- Credit: Archant
Impact of air pollution in Islington? “Difficulty exercising.” “Soot getting in one’s nose.”
Causes? “Internet deliveries.” “Arsenal matchdays.”
Solutions? “Shop locally.” “Get children to school on ‘walking buses’.”
It could only be an Islington Green Party public meeting.
About 40 people packed into a town hall committee room last night to debate an issue which Cllr Caroline Russell – Islington’s sole opposition councillor in the Labour-controlled authority – said will lead to “utterly debilitating” health problems for some people.
You may also want to watch:
The Greens are calling on the council to reduce car traffic in the borough. They claim, from their own “citizen science” measurements, that pollution is getting worse.
Their most recent measurements, using diffusion tubes, were taken in Tufnell Park Road throughout November. They claim the bus stop outside the Odeon cinema had average nitrogen dioxide readings of 54.93 micrograms per cubic metre. The EU legal limit is 40. And compared with November 2013 in exactly the same spot, it had risen from 41.47.
- 1 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 2 How some Islington tenants are losing their homes in a matter of minutes
- 3 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 4 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 5 Finsbury Park man arrested on suspicion of second north London murder
- 6 New free map reveals the best walking routes in Hackney and Islington
- 7 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 8 Islington: Housing team failed to answer 50% of calls during lockdown
- 9 Police name Newham man fatally shot in Haringey
- 10 Sadiq Khan warns of flooding threat to Islington from climate emergency
Twenty volunteers at the meeting offered to install diffusion tubes in their part of Islington, with Cllr Russell writing each street name on a flip chart. The party aims to gather evidence about pollution issues across the borough.
Islington Council has previously questioned the Greens’ “citizen science”, saying their results are “limited” while the town hall carries out continuous monitoring as part of its “detailed air quality strategy”.
But Ian Hunt, of Tufnell Park, wants to take action himself. Asked why he attended the meeting, he told the Gazette: “There are areas that I would like to go to that I avoid due to pollution. I would go to Holloway Road if I felt it was a nice place to breathe air – but it’s not.
“I think life goes from the places that should have life in them. Islington may not be the absolute worst in London but it’s easy enough to see how much of a serious issue this is.”
Susan Davenport, of Highbury, added: “I have seen the pollution levels and you don’t want to be worrying about the air you breathe. It’s actually quite chilling, knowing you can’t see it.
“It’s hard to tell, but how much difference can we seriously make? Is the wider public going to be as active as those who have come to this meeting? But something has to be done.”