Air pollution concerns to be addressed at public meeting

Shoreham residents Barb O'Kelly, Pat Dillon, Geoff Hodgson and Anna Hodgson
Shoreham residents Barb O'Kelly, Pat Dillon, Geoff Hodgson and Anna Hodgson

A newly formed environmental group hopes to shed light on the extent of traffic and air pollution issues in Adur.

Adur Residents Environmental Action (AREA) launched two projects at the end of March to measure levels of nitrogren dioxide in the air and traffic levels at key roads in Lancing and Shoreham.

Their findings will be presented at a public meeting on Thursday (June, 22), at 7pm at the Ropetackle Arts Centre.

Bill Freeman, secretary of the Lancing Manor South East Residents Network, said of the results, which are currently being compiled: “There are some areas of concern.”

He said there were implications for ‘health and quality of life’.

Around 40,000 deaths can be attributed to exposure to outdoor air pollution each year in the UK, according to a report by the Royal College of Physicians.

The Adur group believe new developments proposed in Adur will ‘sharply increase these problems’.

Gerard Rosenberg, AREA communications coordinator, said: “We fear our quality of life will be damaged by increased, unmanaged levels of traffic and pollution as a result of the significant housing and business developments being planned.

“IKEA alone will put another one million vehicles a year onto our roads without all the additional traffic from the new housing and business development.”

Barb O’Kelly, of Fairfield Close, who has coordinated the project in Shoreham, said: “Over the next 15 years it is proposed that at least 3,700 new homes are due to be built in Adur.

“The increase in traffic and pollution will be phenomenal.

“I urge Adur residents to join us and get the results of the traffic count and the nitrogen dioxide readings.

“Learn more about the risks of air pollution, voice your concerns and ask questions.”

To collect data, the action group installed diffusion tubes – which measure nitrogen dioxide levels – along Shoreham High Street, on the A27 between Lancing and Shoreham, on the A259 between Shoreham and Lancing and associated roads.

A five day traffic count was undertaken along Shoreham High Street, which the council has designated a ‘pollution hot spot’.

A spokesperson from Adur District Council said the council constantly monitors levels of nitrogen dioxide across the district and that its findings for 2016 will be included in the Annual Status Report due in July.

The council has ‘encountered some issues’ in replacing the out of action continuous monitoring equipment in Shoreham High Street and have had to buy a replacement cabinet, which is expected to be installed next month, the spokesperson said.