OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Low Emission Zone is not working - our children's lungs are shrinking

There is an initiative soon to get under way called "Liveable Crouch End". This was first branded as a saving grace for the soon to be disappointed Labour councillors back in the day when the sale of Hornsey Town Hall was still an issue (just about a year ago). We know about the "Liveable Crouch End" project in part because of this, in part because of a leak of some Haringey papers, in part because of a Freedom of Information request, and because we keep asking. We are promised a 'consultation' in the 3rd or 4th quarter of this year. 

You can read more about the initiative (under its old branding TfL Liveable Neighbourhoods Initiative) here.

What next I wonder for this initiative.

Following the huge success of the one way alternate traffic experiment on Tottenham Lane and the rather half hearted simulation of London Underground facilities for Crouch... we get news of the effect of air pollution on children.

John Sinha has posted on Facebook a link to the source statistics for Crouch End. It looks as though our local monitoring station for air pollution is set up not to find too many problems. It is 60 metres from the road, in a park and  to measure only ozone and nitrous dioxide. It does show a failure to meet the set standards for ozone on 35 occasions this year.

But there is no measure of the very small particulates which seem to be the main culprits in this air pollution  study in the Lancet

The study's introduction begins with the phrase "Air pollution is a leading cause of global mortality" which I suspect is simply not true. Look as hard as you will and you will not find one dead globe. Whereas "Worldwide, air pollution is a leading cause of premature human deaths" may very well be true. So air pollution is an important topic. The Lancet article demonstrates that increased air pollution, from traffic, cause the growth of children's lungs to be stunted. It also demonstrates that the Low Emission Zones are not having much effect, though perhaps the lifetime of the LEZ can ony be measured so far in years. Perhaps when it has been in effect for decades it may be seen to be ore effective.

And air pollution is one of the targets the Liveable Crouch End project will be addressing by means of a 'modal shift', which, translated into English,  means we will all be urged to leave our cars at home and to proceed on foot and on bicycles for our short haul outings.

I wonder what we all think of that? For myself I can see it having quite an effect locally. If all of us locals leave the car at home, there will be fewer trips in vehicles, shorter traffic jams with consequently fewer emissions, and the extra exercise may address some health issues. Unintended consequences may be that Crouch End becomes a more attractive through route for more diesle powered lorries.

Do look out though for the official Haringey sanctioned 'consultation' on the Liveable Crouch End initiative, which is rumoured to be starting on November 25th and to be taking a stall at the Christmas Fair. 

This cautionary rhyme, set to music, dates from the 1960s in America. Scares about water quality seem to have diminished, but with a recent report of knife attacks in Crouch End the phrase "if the hoods don't get you the monoxide will" seems pertinent.

Tags: air pollution, nitrous dioxide, very small particulates

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The five new Low Emission Bus Zones are:

·               Camberwell to New Cross, cleaning up more than 380 buses

·               Wandsworth to St John Hill, cleaning up more than 200 buses

·               High Road Haringey to Green Lanes, cleaning up more than 330 buses

·               A12 Eastern Avenue to Homerton Road, cleaning up more than 290 buses

·               Edgware Road Kilburn to Maida Vale, cleaning up more than 240 buses

So not Crouch End then.

Meanwhile the levels of GLA staff in the capital have now breached the hitherto unheard of 1000 level. Wherever you go in London there is a GLA employee within a stone's throw.

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