Concerns have been raised over Greenwich’s air quality following findings that estimate one in five premature deaths in the borough could be related to pollution.
Alongside this research from Kings College London, East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA) has also published its own air quality monitoring.
EGRA measured the levels of nitrogen dioxide at 14 sites over two months, in spring and autumn.
The results, together with those of the Westcombe Society, the No To Silvertown Tunnel Campaign, and Greenwich Council, reveal air pollution is above legal limits on all major roads and has barely improved since 2005 despite less traffic on some roads.
Within a report, the East Greenwich Residents Association says: “Even in quiet streets, pollution is at elevated levels, and new major developments threaten to increase pollution.
“Pollution is also a major contributor to asthma and heart conditions. It is a cause of stunted lung development in children.
“EGRA’s draft air quality manifesto recommends 21 actions to tackle bad air. None is costly, and all must be complemented by London – and nation – wide measures.
“They include declaring all Greenwich an ultra low emission zone, greater publicity, traffic-free days and, perhaps, planting a tree for every resident killed by air pollution.”
Cllr Jackie Smith, cabinet member for community safety and environment said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich recognises the significant challenges arising from traffic related air pollution and we acknowledge the work carried out by the East Greenwich Residents Association on this issue. EGRA’s manifesto includes a number of wide ranging suggestions - most of which would need action by Central Government and the Mayor.
“In Greenwich, the Council is working with the Mayor for London, other London Boroughs and central Government to put in place a number of sustainable measures which will reduce pollution levels as quickly as possible.
“This includes working with Transport for London to promote an Ultra Low Emission Zone which, if extended London wide, would have the greatest impact on Nitrogen Dioxide levels effecting major roads and adjacent communities. We have also been awarded initial funding by Transport for London to develop a Low Emission Neighbourhood in the Borough. This has the potential for up to £1m to be spent on air quality improvements that could make a substantial difference to the lives of local residents.”