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Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme court

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Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme court
23rd February 2013 at 2:19PM
Just so that we are all aware that Air Quality in Hazel Grove IS A BIG DEAL you might be interested to read what has happened:

January 7 2012: Supreme Court to hear air pollution case against UK government

ClientEarth’s case against the Government for failing to comply with EU air pollution law will be heard by the Supreme Court on 7th March 2013.

Air pollution is estimated to cause 29,000 premature deaths each year in the UK at an average loss of life of 11.5 years. This makes poor air quality one of the most serious public health risks facing us today.

ClientEarth's original judicial review forced the Government to admit that it was breaking EU air quality laws. However, the High Court and the Court of Appeal did not take any action against the Government, ruling that enforcement was a matter for the European Commission. The Supreme Court, which hears only those cases which are “of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population” has granted ClientEarth leave to appeal against the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was supported by a letter from the European Commission firmly supporting ClientEarth’s interpretation of Article 22 of Directive 2008/50/EC: the Goverment’s plans to tackle air pollution must show how legal limits will be achieved by no later than 2015. Current plans for 16 regions and cities (including London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow) will not achieve legal limits for nitrogen dioxide until 2020, and in the case of London, 2025. The original deadline for achieving these limits was 1 January 2010.

James Thornton, ClientEarth CEO, said: “For too long the Government has got away with failing to tackle this public health crisis. Instead it is lobbying in Brussels to try to weaken standards and fighting tooth and nail in court to avoid its legal obligations. Where the Government fails to fulfil its responsibilities to its citizens, we have the right to go before our national courts and demand that action is taken. They need to face up to their responsibilities and produce a credible plan to clean up the dirty diesel vehicles which are choking our towns and cities.”

This news coincides with the beginning of the EU’s “Year of Air”, in which EU air pollution policy will be revised. To mark the occasion an alliance of 18 European environmental groups drawn from 13 EU member states are urging ministers to strengthen controls on air pollution and close legal loopholes. The UK Government has publicly stated that it will use the Year of Air to try to and reduce its risk of being sued for breaching air quality standards.


Communications office: comms@clientearth.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; 0203 0305951

Notes to editors:

-    The hearing will be streamed live on the Supreme Court’s website.

-    Air pollution is estimated to cause 29,000 premature deaths each year in the UK at an average loss of life of 11.5 years. This makes poor air quality one of the most serious public health risks facing us today.

-    Pollution from road traffic, and particularly diesel fumes, is the most significant cause of poor air quality. The two pollutants of most concern are microscopic airborne particles, known as ‘PM10’, and nitrogen dioxide.
-    The World Health Organisation has classified diesel exhaust as carcinogenic for humans, based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.

-    Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is a gas caused by road traffic and other combustion processes. NO2 is harmful to health and associated with respiratory symptoms, inflammation of the lung lining and susceptibility to bronchitis.

-    Levels of NO2 on some of London’s busiest roads, such as Brixton Road and Putney High Street, are currently more than triple legal limits.

-    ClientEarth lead the Healthy Air Campaign, which is a coalition of organisations working to tackle the public health threat caused by air pollution.

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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
23rd February 2013 at 6:20PM
Not this old chestnut again.

Will you be copy/pasting the outcome if it doesn't suit your agenda?

Using your statistics, the figures are falling, as per my previous brief break down of your figures on this thread;
Click Here!!!

A few further things I would also point out with regards to the statistics which you provided, other than the fact that 12 out of the 14 show a REDUCTION.

The net figures for 2011 amount to a total of 678.
The net figures for 2012 amount to a total of 593.8.
That is a 12.42% reduction (rounding to 2 decimal places).

593.8 / 14 is 42.41, only 6.04% above your 'target' figure, or to put it another way, should the reductions continue as per the statistics that you provided, they are likely to be hit this year.

I would also point out that the data you provided is flawed. I find it extremely odd that the 'higher' 2011 figures are all rounded to the nearest whole number, the 2012 figures are to the nearest decimal. That in itself to me shows that the statistics are compromised or that a change in the way in which they are measured has occured.

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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
24th February 2013 at 8:35AM, Edit: 24th February 2013 at 9:35AM by Serenity
All I know Norma is that at a local level something needs to be done about the high levels of pollution that the Grove is experiencing daily. If you check the pollution statistics relayed from the pollution monitor (for the A6 alone) the figures clearly show that the pollution levels are far too high and do not meet with EU regulations.

Add to that daily:-
1.     Congested traffic on local streets such as Commercial road.
2.     Junctions such as ASDA/Sainsbury’s which create pools of stagnant        traffic=pollution.
3.     Pollution created from large cars parks such as Sainsbury’s, Asda and the hospital.

All of which must take the total figure for the centre of Hazel Grove through the roof, especially at peak times.

I live at the back of ASDA's car park very near the main road where the levels of pollution I believe are said to be very high. As a result of this information and on a personal level I would now like to see a complete parking for residence zone introduced to all of this area. As at the present time only some of our area is included under this scheme. And as a result the area is constantly being plagued by hospital staff and visitors endlessly searching for somewhere to park.

This in turn adds greatly to the pollution figures for our area. As none of these cars I’m sure would otherwise come along Grenville Road, Green Lane or Mount Pleasant if it wasn’t just purely to look for somewhere to park.

This is very apparent by the daily use of the Park’s car park at the bottom of Green Lane, which is meant to be for recreational use only but by 9.oclock it is completely full and empty after 5.
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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
24th February 2013 at 2:28PM

You missed the whole point of the example statistics for the Chester road No2 figures over by Mere golf and country club. Whilst correctly 12 of the 14 showed reductions year on year I think 10 of the 14 still exceeded EU acceptable levels, the point being that even though cec are trying to resolve the problem it's still not enough and unlike the A6 where figures are also exceeding acceptable levels, traffic figures are set to increase....how will SMBC reduce these levels when they don't have a plan.

If you actually take the time to read the report, I believe there are some examples of the asthma issues and the relationship of roads in close proximity to schools and the public.

The point people are trying to get through to people like you and the can't be bothered one way or the other who boss has apparently now added to his yes vote is that SMBC have made an amateurish presentation for this project, their facts and figures are based on research carried out over 10 years ago with no review for current statistics.

I do struggle sometimes to see how you can justify support for something that so far hasn't even justified how it will be paid for, yet jobs and services are being cut locally in the mean time, where the job creation and economic benefits promised are just that and we all know about government and Cllr promises don't we, they change with elections and the wind!!!

Please just read the report from better qualified people than you and me in this specialist area and then come back and say you believe everything you have been told and promised about this road to a better life in hazel grove.
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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
25th February 2013 at 4:43PM
It is not just those in Hazel Grove who are concerned about the polluting effects of this new road. A group of residents who live in Bramhall and send their children to Queensgate Primary School have expressed some dismay due to the proximity of the school from the proposed route(110 metres) and Parent and Governors of the school met with the SEMMMS Project Team on 19th February to air these concerns.
A summary of their anxieties follows, and the full text can be seen at http://www.saveourgreenbelt.uk.com/

• The health of Queensgate Primary School’s schoolchildren will be significantly adversely affected by the intense pollution, additional noise, and increased traffic a new SEMMMS road will bring (see substantiated comments below).

• The road should be diverted further away from Queensgate (see below for why this can help).

• A thorough independent Health Impact Assessment should be conducted in respect of the school per se.

• The opinion poll survey figures the Council relies on to show public support for the road is not credible given the issues surrounding local schools were not examined and publicised before the relevant opinion polls were conducted.

• Traffic, noise, and light pollution mitigation measures (e.g. appropriate tree planting and fencing) are needed.

• Representative baseline measurements (e.g. noise, light, and air quality) should be taken now to facilitate assessments.

• Second opinions on any geotechnical studies (for nearby subsidence and flooding risks) should be sought.

• The Earn-Back funding model should be properly explained, especially the future financial liabilities.

• Public guarantees should be given regarding the protection of all local greenbelt land, and also regarding contingency plans for any funding shortfalls (in particular guarantees that any private sector funding deals will not compromise the local community).

Not surprisingly, these concerns are replicated along the whole of the proposed route of the A6-MARR.
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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
4th May 2013 at 8:19AM, Edit: 4th May 2013 at 11:35AM by Serenity
I think (as the developments in the Grove have proven) future pollution issues are never really taken into consideration when plans are initially drawn up and passed. Perhaps that's were the root of the problem lies.

Take the Grove for instant did the developers not have the facts first (be it in the form of EU regulations or local pollution monitors). Before they expanded any which way they could.

I'm not sure that now as an after thought introducing a few green buses really goes much in the way of addressing the real issues that this poor planning have lead us too.

As far as I'm concerned it all just adds up to the same thing. More of what we have already have.

Sadly though it's all just a reflection of today's marketing strategies which lead us to believe that we just can't get by without them.
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Re: Air Quality - UK Government taken to supreme c
21st May 2013 at 1:06PM
and now you can see why people like me are on this forum
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