Ealing borough council is proposing to hold an Air Quality Summit to tackle air pollution at Horn Lane, which is the first site in London to breach PM10 limits this year
Horn Lane in Acton, West London, has become the first monitoring site in the capital to breach national air quality objectives for particulate matter PM10, with Ealing council planning to hold a summit meeting to discuss the problem.
The national objectives allow a daily average PM10 concentration limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre, which cannot be breached on more than 35 days per year. However, provisional measurements on Horn Lane suggest that PM10 has already breached this limit on 36 days during 2013.
The Horn Lane monitoring site is a residential street located close to industrial sites, which are thought to add to PM10 concentrations.
Ealing borough council had been intending to apply to be an ‘Air Quality Exemplar Borough’ in order to gain access to £400,000 funding from the London Mayor’s Clean Air Fund, which was announced as part of a raft of measures in February 2013 (see airqualitynews.com story).
However, the council’s shadow cabinet called in the decision to apply for the funds as the application did not specify the air quality problems on Horn Lane and how they might be tackled.
As a result, a meeting of Ealing borough council’s overview and scrutiny committee was held on Thursday (May 16) to discuss the issue on Horn Lane.
A report to the scrutiny committee states that the decision to apply to the Mayor’s Clean Air Fund “…does not take into account the very high pollution levels at Horn Lane, nor does the decision taken indicate how this will be solved.â€?
According to Phil Taylor, Conservative Party councillor and shadow spokesman on transport and the environment who attended the meeting, the council is now considering holding an Air Quality Summit, which would bring together the council, the Environment Agency (EA) and Transport for London (TfL) to try and tackle the air pollution problems on Horn Lane.
A date for this summit has not yet been confirmed, but the scrutiny committee recommended that representatives of residents and local councillors should also be involved in the meeting.
Residents and local councillors have previously called for action to tackle poor air quality on Horn Lane, with councillor Taylor telling airqualitynews.com: “Air pollution is up to six times higher than what you would expect on the really busy roads and it does stand out as a PM10 blackspot and one of the worst in London.â€?
However, monitoring at the site does suggest that air quality on Horn Lane has improved in recent years, with the 50 microgram limit exceeded on 205 days in 2005 and 53 days in 2012.
Mr Taylor said: “After the air quality monitor was introduced eight years ago in 2005, levels immediately got better, but it is still the worst place in London and has been for four or five years now.â€?
Commenting on the proposed Air Quality Summit meeting, he said: “You might hope they can improve the joint working between the council and the Environment Agency.â€?
Havering borough council has also applied to the Mayor for special status in order to gain access to £400,000 from the Clean Air Fund to improve air quality in the area (see airqualitynews.com story).