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Community's first air quality report shows illegal pollution levels across Queen's Park

PUBLISHED: 12:24 25 October 2017

Ray Lancashire fitting a diffusion tube to a lamppost in Queen's Park to check air pollution (Picture: Ray Lancashire)

Ray Lancashire fitting a diffusion tube to a lamppost in Queen's Park to check air pollution (Picture: Ray Lancashire)

2017 © Ray Lancashire

Illegal levels of air pollution are blighting Queen's Park even in areas far from main roads, according to a study carried out by the local community.

Ray Lancashire, from the Mozart Estate, carried out Queen’s Park’s first citizens’ air pollution project, on behalf of Queen’s Park Community Council (QPCC) and the London Sustainability Exchange.

The month long project showed Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels in the ward are higher than the European Union’s legal limit of 40 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air).

The study, carried out in June, involved mounting 20 diffusion tubes on lamp posts around the Queen’s Park area .

The tubes remained in place for four weeks absorbing Nitrogen Oxide before being taken to Gradko International’s laboratories to be measured.

Mr Lancashire, said: “We live in one of the most densely populated areas in Westminster. This study shows that we are exposed to high levels of NO2 on a long-term basis, which can dramatically reduce our quality of health and wellbeing. It also highlights the importance of green spaces in our urban environment - results for Queen’s Park Gardens were the lowest for NO2 in the whole study area.”

Queen’s Park Primary School, in Third Avenue, and Wilberforce Primary School, in Beethoven Street, were found to be above the EU legal limit despite being located away from main roads.

At the junction of Ladbroke Grove with Kilburn Lane, the level is double the legal limit and pollution was also high in Harrow Road.

He added: “We need to ensure that vehicle owners here and in neighbouring boroughs, are aware of the part they can play in reducing air pollution.”

Cllr Susanna Rustin, chair of QPCC, said: “These shocking findings bring home to us that air pollution affects all of us, every day. The high readings on Harrow Road, where local people do their shopping and hundreds of children cross on their way to and from school, every day, are really disturbing.

“Westminster City Council’s campaign against vehicle idling is welcome but the Mayor and central government must do more to reduce harmful pollution, by speeding up scrappage schemes for the most polluting vehicles and taking measures to encourage walking and cycling.”

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