Air quality in Suffolk

Suffolk Coastal MP Thérèse Coffey recently praised the government’s new Clean Air Strategy, which is designed to cut air pollution.

SCGP member Libby Ruffle wrote to the East Anglian Daily Times in response:

“Thérèse Coffey says she is pleased with Defra’s Clean Air Strategy (‘Not enough to tackle car pollution’ say critics of new clean air stragety’).

Unfortunately, the measures don’t go far enough to ensure that we stay within our ‘carbon budget’ of 2,544MtCO2e between 2018 and 2022. Growing car use, for example, is a particular cause for concern.

From January to March 2018, Suffolk Coastal Green Party measured air quality in Woodbridge and outside Melton Primary School, when Woods Lane was closed.  The results were sobering: the Nitrogen Dioxide levels actually exceeded the European limits at both sites for a three week period, and it is clear that there is an ongoing problem at the Red Lion lights, even after Woods Lane re-opened.

With new developments at Wood Lane, Adastral Park and Sizewell, to name just three, pollution across Suffolk is set to increase significantly.

This week is Walk to School week. This is a great initiative in towns and cities, but not always practical or safe for children in remote rural areas. Better connected, more frequent and cheap public transport must be a priority.

SCGP are planning to conduct more research into local air quality over the next few weeks. We hope Ms Coffey’s temporary replacement, David Rutley, and all cross-party groups will join in the local debate on how we can most effectively be responsible stewards for our environment and preserve it for the next generations. We also wish Ms Coffey a swift recovery.”

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