THE FACTS ABOUT AIR QUALITY

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AIR QUALITY MAPS AND SCIENCE

Dr Yashmin Vawda, an air pollution consultant from Borough Green Road, Ightham, said: "It would help pollution levels enormously to have slip roads at Junction 5."

 

"As part of its statutory review and assessment, of air quality, Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) found that traffic flow and the number of HGVs travelling along the A25 was far too high. This causes air quality well below safe standards.

 
 "SDC produced an air quality action plan which concluded the only hope of decreasing pollutants was to decrease traffic flow. The problem is that this is out of their hands, because it’s a Highways Agency issue. The case just keeps getting passed back and forth between local authorities like SDC and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

"The new Localism Act, which was introduced to government on December 13, means Local Authorities can now be fined if pollution levels are not decreased, but in reality I think we are a long way from this happening, The J5 slips would decrease traffic flow and the number of HGVs on the A25 and speed up vehicles — by how much can only be determined by a traffic impact study"” If the slips were put in I would expect all the AQMAs along A25 to disappear."

 
 

DR ABRAHAM GEORGE, public health consultant for NHS Kent and Medway, said: "Reduced traffic on the A25, particularly heavy diesel engine traffic, will not only minimise the number of road traffic accidents and injuries, but can be expected to improve the health and wellbeing of families living nearby.

"For example children and elderly people will be less exposed to particularly high levels particulate matter and have a of lower incidence of breathing problems due to asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). "Drivers will also benefit from reduced.stress and blood pressure caused by lower journey times, predictability and convenience

 

 
 Emily Humphreys of  Asthma UK said “said: "Traffic pollution is a big issue for people with asthma, playing a role in causing the condition in both children and adults. "Two-thirds of people with asthma tell us that traffic fumes make their asthma worse and 42% find that traffic fumes discourage them from walking or shopping in congested areas" "  
 

Extract Chronicle 15th March 2012 - J5 Slips Special by Emma Curry

 

TRAFFIC crawling through the villages along the A25 to reach Sevenoaks leaves health problems in its wake. Vehicles are a major source of air pollution,  emitting fumes which damage buildings, the environment and health. Four areas along the busy ro between Wrotham Heath and  Westerham. have been set as Air Quality Management Control Areas (AQMAs). This means the amount of pollution is higher than recom- mended European Union levels and Borough Green is set to join the list in the next three months. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP), a government advisory body, published a report in December 2010 showing air pollution contributed to  200,000 deaths from , heart-related illnesses in the UK that year; with an average loss of two years life expectancy per person. Particulate matter tPM), tiny particles emitted in diesel fumes, was estimated to have played a part in 29,000 deaths and six months loss of life expectancy per person COMEAP also reported, in. November 2010, that, as well as worsening existing' asthma, air pollution could cause new cases to develop in those living close to busy roads. Children are especially at risk of suffering breathing problems caused traffic fumes.

Their lungs, which keep developing until adolescence, are less able to deal with toxins than adults and their immature immune systems are not so good at fighting off infection. This leaves them vulnerable to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and asthma The fact that children inhale close to the height above the ground at which fumes are released puts them more at risk.