Is Sahara dust taking the fall for Twickenham pollution?

This Is Local London: Twickenham: Are changes causing pollution? Twickenham: Are changes causing pollution?

High levels of air pollution are causing concerns for asthma sufferers in Twickenham.

A combination of local emissions and dust blown in from the Sahara has caused smog across south-west London this week.

Anne Keane, a Twickenham resident of 35 years, suffers from asthma and said recent changes to Twickenham town centre had exacerbated the issue.

She said: “As an asthma sufferer I am very concerned at the air quality in central Twickenham.

“It appears that, even in light of recent results of increased air pollution, our council is intent on filling our town centre with traffic jams which in turn lead to high levels of CO2 emissions.”

Among her concerns are the narrowing of traffic lanes in Heath Road and the removal of the multi-stop for buses outside WH Smith.

Ms Keane, who lives in Sherland Road, feared changes in traffic layout were causing increased congestion which, in turn, had led to dangerous emissions affecting asthma sufferers such as her.

She added: “I travel across London and in other boroughs it is quite normal to travel from one green to another green light.

“Even when there is light traffic one is forced to stop at every light in our town - the situation has always been poor but it has most certainly worsened in recent times.”

A Richmond Council spokesman said: “There is a requirement for Transport for London to approve the work being undertaken in Twickenham, which they have done after rigorous traffic modelling and assessment of all aspects of the work.

“They are satisfied that the scheme is not detrimental to traffic flows and brings about improvements to the town centre.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recorded air pollution in London as in the “high” category - seven out of 10.

Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said people with asthma who find that air pollution makes their condition worse could be at an increased risk of an attack.

High pollution levels were expected to be recorded again on Thursday, clearing today (Friday) as winds direction changes.

According to Beijing-based air quality monitoring website aqicn.org, Bushy Park had the second-highest levels of air pollution at 1pm on Thursday, April 3.

Comments (5)

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12:43pm Fri 4 Apr 14

fleggdupree says...

Heathrow Airport has more or less been stuck on 18 hour Easterlies for the last 10 days; I suspect that this has also had a pretty serious effect on local air quality as well. I done a little experiment last year, I cleaned my front roof Velux windows as I knew there was a large Easterly on the way, this particular Easterly lasted for over three weeks and I was rather quite horrified at the amount of pollution particles that were left on the Velux windows, some of them really quite large (i.e. not unreasonable to suggest these were from a jet engine). I cleaned the same windows again and checked the condition of them after a three week Westerly, nowhere near as bad, a really noticeable difference.
...
As for the local road works/improvements in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2015, these have caused more traffic jams, but this in all fairness was to be expected. Whilst I really appreciate any improvements to Twickenham, I am very interested to see just how well traffic will flow once the works have been completed. Will be interesting to see if all the new traffic lights being installed will be intelligent sets, which hopefully they ALL will be, if so, these should help improve traffic flow.
...
Twickenham, like so many other areas of London which act as a junction were never designed for this amount of traffic flow and I doubt if there will ever be that much we can do about it. Hopefully all forms of motor transport will become cleaner and cleaner as the years go by. Though like all of these issues, it is a sort of one trade-off for another; let’s say in 10 years’ time traffic pollution has decreased by 10% but if Heathrow has expanded then for two thirds of the year all that extra pollution is going to be blown towards Twickenham??
Heathrow Airport has more or less been stuck on 18 hour Easterlies for the last 10 days; I suspect that this has also had a pretty serious effect on local air quality as well. I done a little experiment last year, I cleaned my front roof Velux windows as I knew there was a large Easterly on the way, this particular Easterly lasted for over three weeks and I was rather quite horrified at the amount of pollution particles that were left on the Velux windows, some of them really quite large (i.e. not unreasonable to suggest these were from a jet engine). I cleaned the same windows again and checked the condition of them after a three week Westerly, nowhere near as bad, a really noticeable difference. ... As for the local road works/improvements in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2015, these have caused more traffic jams, but this in all fairness was to be expected. Whilst I really appreciate any improvements to Twickenham, I am very interested to see just how well traffic will flow once the works have been completed. Will be interesting to see if all the new traffic lights being installed will be intelligent sets, which hopefully they ALL will be, if so, these should help improve traffic flow. ... Twickenham, like so many other areas of London which act as a junction were never designed for this amount of traffic flow and I doubt if there will ever be that much we can do about it. Hopefully all forms of motor transport will become cleaner and cleaner as the years go by. Though like all of these issues, it is a sort of one trade-off for another; let’s say in 10 years’ time traffic pollution has decreased by 10% but if Heathrow has expanded then for two thirds of the year all that extra pollution is going to be blown towards Twickenham?? fleggdupree
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Fri 4 Apr 14

kingstonpaul says...

All I know is that my car looks as if it's just got back from the Paris-Dakar rally.
I was passing through Dubai a couple of weeks ago, and we landed in almost zero visibility because of desert dust - no panic, no jeremiad pronouncememnts, it's part of living out there. Get on with it
But there's too much hype around this. These episodes are not uncommon in the UK, and the Met Office has admitted it over-stated the threat. Then we had the climate change lobby crawling out of the word suggesting that this kind of pollution could/might/possibly occur more often (note that 'could', 'might', 'possibly' are the three most commonly occurring words in the climate change lexicon. Let's just all calm down.
All I know is that my car looks as if it's just got back from the Paris-Dakar rally. I was passing through Dubai a couple of weeks ago, and we landed in almost zero visibility because of desert dust - no panic, no jeremiad pronouncememnts, it's part of living out there. Get on with it But there's too much hype around this. These episodes are not uncommon in the UK, and the Met Office has admitted it over-stated the threat. Then we had the climate change lobby crawling out of the word suggesting that this kind of pollution could/might/possibly occur more often (note that 'could', 'might', 'possibly' are the three most commonly occurring words in the climate change lexicon. Let's just all calm down. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 1

6:56pm Fri 4 Apr 14

metis says...

“It appears that, even in light of recent results of increased air pollution, our council is intent on filling our town centre with traffic jams which in turn lead to high levels of CO2 emissions.”

Ms Keane - yet another one who confuses CO2 with pollution.
“It appears that, even in light of recent results of increased air pollution, our council is intent on filling our town centre with traffic jams which in turn lead to high levels of CO2 emissions.” Ms Keane - yet another one who confuses CO2 with pollution. metis
  • Score: 1

12:03am Sat 5 Apr 14

Twickenham Bob says...

The council should be monitoring air pollution - but I bet they think they can get away with ignoring it!

If you see this useful link - you can ask your councillors whether or not there needs to be roadside testing in Twickenham.

http://uk-air.defra.
gov.uk/aqma/
The council should be monitoring air pollution - but I bet they think they can get away with ignoring it! If you see this useful link - you can ask your councillors whether or not there needs to be roadside testing in Twickenham. http://uk-air.defra. gov.uk/aqma/ Twickenham Bob
  • Score: -3

12:18am Sat 5 Apr 14

Twickenham Bob says...

Also this link is useful - the whole borough has been declared a 'Air Quality Management Area'.

One of the main benefits of this is the ability to test vehicles at the roadside and issue fixed penalties to drivers whose vehicles fail. It will be interesting to know how many tests have actually been carried out. I suspect it's ZERO.

http://www.richmond.
gov.uk/home/services
/environment/polluti
on/air_pollution/air
_quality_reports/air
_quality_action_plan
.htm
Also this link is useful - the whole borough has been declared a 'Air Quality Management Area'. One of the main benefits of this is the ability to test vehicles at the roadside and issue fixed penalties to drivers whose vehicles fail. It will be interesting to know how many tests have actually been carried out. I suspect it's ZERO. http://www.richmond. gov.uk/home/services /environment/polluti on/air_pollution/air _quality_reports/air _quality_action_plan .htm Twickenham Bob
  • Score: -2

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