Pollution in Merton is well above legal and healthy limits, according to the latest tests carried out by Merton Green Party.
The levels of nitrogen dioxide were tested at 10 sites around Colliers Wood, Mitcham and Wimbledon, mainly near primary schools and GPs’ surgeries. Evidence has shown that older people, people with a long-term health condition and children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of air pollution. Pollution can make it harder for these people to breathe, make existing conditions worse and can stunt children’s lung growth. Nine of the ten sites were above the recommended maximum levels, with three being more than twice the maximum. Around 10,000 Londoners die prematurely each year as a result of long term exposure to nitrogen dioxide.
Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member, commented: “Residents are right to be concerned about the pollution levels in Merton. Their recordings are almost all above legal limits and three showed levels more than double the legal exposure. This just shows the importance of supporting the Mayor’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), making it extend beyond the north and south circular so all Londoners can breathe without risk to their health.”
Merton Greens call on the Council to take more action to tackle this problem, such as introducing 20mph speed limits across the borough, fines for vehicles whose engines idle unnecessarily, making cycling and walking more attractive alternatives to car use, urging Transport for London to introduce less polluting buses, and pressing the Government to take action on diesel cars such as a scrappage scheme.
The readings at the ten sites at which nitrogen dioxide was measured are listed below. The figures are for micrograms per cubic metre, 40 being the maximum healthy level.
1) London Road alongside Figge’s Marsh [58.72]
2) Outside Gorringe Park school on Streatham Road [47.38]
3) Outside Figge’s Marsh surgery, London Road [94.46]
4) Near Singlegate school, on Christchurch Road [55.97]
5) Outside Merton Medical Practice, Colliers Wood High Street [89.21]
6) Outside Colliers Wood surgery, High Street [87.03]
7) Outside All Saints school, Haydons Road [66.80]
8) On Morden Road, near Merton Abbey school [56.56]
9) Outside Dundonald primary school, Dundonald Road [27.66]
10) Outside Nelson medical practice, Kingston Road [57.29]
Tom Killick (07821 882380)