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Community groups join in battle against air pollution

PUBLISHED: 17:52 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:35 31 January 2017

Transition K2K members plan their survey. (Pic: Viv Stein)

Transition K2K members plan their survey. (Pic: Viv Stein)

Archant

Four Brent community groups have been monitoring air pollution in the southern part of the borough as part of a citizen science project across London.

Transition K2K in Queen's Park. (Pic: Viv Stein) Transition K2K in Queen's Park. (Pic: Viv Stein)

A further four voluntary associations have now joined forces with them in a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution and improve air quality in Brent with support from the council.

In late 2016 Transition Town Kensal to Kilburn (TTK2K), Transition Willesden (TW), Kensal Rise Residents’ Association (KRRA) and Queens Park Area Residents’ Association (QPARA) put up diffusion tubes to monitor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in their areas.

They surveyed both main and residential roads running outside schools as well as inside parks.

Of the 20 sites surveyed by the Transition groups, 15 exceeded the legal limit for NO2 which is 40µg/metre3.

The worst of these were along Cricklewood Broadway at 97µg/m3, and Kilburn High Rd at nearly 80µg/m3. The majority of other sites ranged from just over the limit to around 60µg/m3.

Only five sites - in Queens Park, Roundwood Park and Gladstone Park and nearby residential roads recorded just below the safe level.

All eight groups, now including Brent Friends of the Earth (BFoE), Aylestone Park Residents’ and Tenants’Association (APRATA), Kensal Triangle Residents’ Association (KTRA) and Brent Eleven Streets (BEST), met last week with Queens Park Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Ellie Southwood.

She said: “It was great to see residents’associations and green groups coming together to share hard evidence about the problems of air pollution in Brent. I look forward to their helping us develop actions to deliver the Borough’s new Air Quality Action Plan and I am looking forward to working with them to make a positive difference to the air we breathe in Brent.”

They now plan to campaign together and work with others in the community to alert residents of the dangers of air pollution, show how people can reduce their exposure to it and improve air quality.

Viv Stein from Transition Willesden said: “We would like to do further monitoring, and involve schools, businesses, residents, health providers and the Council to raise awareness and take action on this public health issue.”

Air pollution is estimated to be responsible for the premature death of 9,400 Londoners a year and many serious illnesses.

The groups’ findings will be added to Brent Council’s own monitoring data which measures NO2 at 27 locations across the borough.

To find out more about the Transition groups’ project, see their results and join in, see http://ttkensaltokilburn.ning.com/group/air-pollution-monitoring.

For more information on QPARA’s project is at http://www.qpark.org.uk/action-groups/environment/.

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