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Petition launched for cleaner buses in Kensal Rise as air has illegally high levels of NO2

PUBLISHED: 17:16 23 October 2015 | UPDATED: 17:45 23 October 2015

Campaigners have launched a petition demanding cleaner air from diesel powered buses as pollution high  Pic credit Adam Thomas

Campaigners have launched a petition demanding cleaner air from diesel powered buses as pollution high Pic credit Adam Thomas

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A petition has been launched calling for cleaner buses in Kensal Rise as figures show the area has illegally high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which is claimed to pose a health threat.

Kensal Rise Residents Association (KRRA), Queens Park Area Residents Association (QPARA), Kensal Triangle Resident Association (KTRA) and Aylestone Park Residents and Tenants, have drawn up the petition which urges the Mayor of London and TfL introduce more environmentally-friendly vehicles in Chamberlayne Road to help clean the air.

According to a map on Brent Council’s website, the levels of NO2 on Chamberlayne Road last year was 67.7ug/m3 which is above the legal limit of 40ug/m3.

In the last five years levels on the busy thoroughfare have varied from 62.5ug/m3 to 78.3ug/m3.

Rik Smith, vice chair of KRRA, said: “Transport for London operates 13,800 diesel-powered buses weekly on Chamberlayne Road posing serious threats to residents’ health.

“Our petition is asking the Mayor of London and TfL to introduce cleaner hybrid buses on all the seven bus routes operating through Kensal and Wider Queen’s Park ward by March 2016, as diesel is known to be the catalyst for NO2 emissions.”

He added: “We were disappointed to learn that Brent Council has known about the serious air quality breach Chamberlayne Road for a long time, as it has been monitoring emissions for over 10 years on this road and has failed to share with vital pollution information with residents.”

The four groups commissioned environmental charity Client Earth to test for NO2 in the area.

Andrea Lee, healthy air campaigner at ClientEarth, said: “Kensal Rise residents, like many other Londoners, are becoming aware of the danger of air pollution in our capital.

“Unfortunately all levels of government are underplaying this public health crisis and groups like the Kensal Rise residents have felt the need to monitor their local air pollution themselves.

“This shouldn’t have to be the case. We need better public information on air pollution as well as more ambitious action by government to clean up the air that we breathe.”

Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns in Chamberlayne Road and are continuing to work with them to deliver improvements to the bus fleet in the area.

“We will also introduce 1,700 hybrids across London by 2016 to reduce CO2 emissions and are fitting 2,100 existing buses with state-of-the-art emissions-lowering technology, which will cut oxides of nitrogen by around 90per cent.”

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods at Brent Council, said: “Chamberlayne Road has high numbers of HGVs and buses on it which are the key contributors of N02 emissions.

“We are entirely supportive of TFL’s efforts to improve its bus fleet and we give our full support to the residents who are campaigning to make Chamberlayne Road a cleaner place.

“We are also pleased that funding has been given for the planting of new trees along Chamberlayne Road and we fully support the petition to TFL by the residents for greener buses along it.”

To sign the petition, which closes on November 4 visit here.

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