Kensal Rise campaigners urge urgent action as pollution 'off the scale' outside their Tesco store
PUBLISHED: 17:14 19 July 2019
A Kensal Rise community is calling on council and transport chiefs to take urgent action over "off the scale" illegal pollution levels outside their local supermarket.
A bus-stop sits directly outside the entrance to a Tesco's store in Station Terrace which campaigners say is a danger to children and adults.
Citizens' collective Kensal Rise Action Group (KRAG)commissioned independent environmental consultant James Hewitt to test nitrogen dioxide levels (NO2) levels using air quality monitoring equipment.
The findings found NO2 values were triple the EU legal limit deemed fit for humans (40 micrograms per cubic metre).
Brent Council says KRAG didn't explain how it had collected the results, and has asked for more information before it responds to members.
Founder of KRAG Fiona Mulaisho said: "The local council has no excuse for not knowing about this as it has designated the area as an air quality management area.
"The fact that they clearly have done nothing about it is an absolute disgrace."
KRAG says the route, which loops from Chamberlayne Road, is used by more than 11,000 TfL buses a week, many using diesel, which stop outside the convenience store.
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Mother-of-two Barbara Want, said: "This is horrific. The analysis registered 'white' outside Tesco, not amber, green, yellow, red, but white, off the scale.
"The bus stop is literally at the entrance of Tesco, where loads of children stand. Buses leave their engines idling as people get on and off.
"It breaks my heart that kids stand in that spot every day. They don't know it but they are being involuntarily exposed to killer fumes from TfL's buses. I've banned my children from going to Tesco. I'd urge all parents to tell their children to avoid the area."
Mum Dee Light added: "I visit Tesco in Station Terrace regularly. Knowing these results on diesel bus emissions in this locality, I am really concerned for my children's health now."
Meanwhile there are fears that the council's Kensal Corridor Improvement Scheme (KCIS) will make matters worse, not better, as there are proposals to expand the bustop as part of the public realm.
Ms Mulaisho added:"This cannot be allowed to go on. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to emissions and yet this place is like a bus depot.
"These findings have been made available to local councillors and the council, but we've heard nothing back. We'll have to contact our MP and ask her to intervene."
Council planning chief Cllr Shama Tatler said the KCIS would overall reduce congestion and pollution, giving people "more cycle parking and amenities, wider pavements, safer pedestrian crossings, new trees, and electric charging points for cars, all helping to promote sustainable travel and reduce congestion".
She added: "Of the 650 local residents and businesses we spoke to, the vast majority supported these proposals, which we hope will have a positive impact on air quality in the area."