Waste lorries and children could carry air quality monitors in Swindon

Waste lorries and children could be carrying air pollution monitors in Swindon as part of plans to measure and monitor air quality levels in more detail.

During a cabinet meetimg of the council last week, the Labour group’s spokesman for the environment Jane Milner-Barry said: “The 2020 Centre for Cities report identified that 5.4 per cent of total morality in Swindon could be attributed to poor air quality.

“While air quality in Swindon has clearly improved during the pandemic, long-term the issue persists and will continue get worse unless measures are taken to address the problem.

“Such monitors will assist officers in gathering evidence to assess where air pollution is at its worst and what measures need to be taken to improve air quality.”

Cllr Milner-Barry added: “I really hope the report will look carefully at monitoring pollution outside schools and on bin lorries.

“In some borough of London councils offer small monitoring strips to children walking to school, and put them on vehicles, and all that data is uploaded to a website where everyone can see. We need the data, that is the first step to understanding the problems and working out what to do about it.

“It’s not just down to motor vehicles – quiet streets with a lot of wood burners or a lot of barbecues in summer might show up as more heavily polluted in winter or in summer. We need to find out where the hotspots are.”

Cllr Williams was pleased to support the motion, according to the Swindon Advertiser.

He said: “ The report covers quite a big area – better monitoring will allow us to find out in much finer detail where air pollution is bad.

“Pollution is a problem caused by the way we live our lives today. Anywhere in an urban area will have poorer air quality than rural areas. The transition to electric vehicles will not solve this problem on its own.” =

Swindon Borough Council has declared Kingshill Road an air quality management area as it has the worst issue with pollution in the town It is also considering signs discouraging drivers from using the road and restricting heavy lorries from using the hill.

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