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Council Inaction Costing Lives

July 10, 2010 2:32 PM

Bradford on Avon is the worst place in Wiltshire for air pollution, according to a Wiltshire Council report.

Masons Lane in the town is the only place in the county which breaches safety standards for both nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates.

Other places in Wiltshire which fail to meet safe levels for nitrogen dioxide are Warminster Road, Westbury; Shane's Castle, Devizes; and in Salisbury Wilton Road, London Road, and the city centre.

Towns with narrow streets and high traffic volumes are particularly vulnerable to accumulations of pollutants.

A parliamentary report published in March estimated that air pollution reduces life expectancy in the UK by an average of seven to eight months and could lead to up to 50,000 premature deaths per year.

The MPs said the UK should be ashamed of its air quality and called for action to be taken.

Wiltshire Council is required to produce an Air Quality Strategy, and a report on this went to the council's Environment Committee on July 6th.

Local councillor Rosemary Brown said, "Although monitoring has been going on for years in Bradford on Avon, nothing practical has been done. I hope the way forward may now include trying to improve the situation via the Historic Core
Zone project, which aims to do something about the traffic through the centre of Bradford on Avon, especially with the Kingston Mills development coming on stream in a couple of years time."

Liberal Democrat Environment spokesman Trevor Carbin said, "The strategy consists of warm words about measuring, monitoring and reviewing, but says nothing about actually doing anything. Wiltshire Council hopes that if it does
nothing the problem will simply go away. Unfortunately it shows no signs of doing so. Our historic towns deserve better."