Campaigners take city pollution fight to Europe

MEP Keith Taylor

MEP Keith Taylor

First published in News

GREEN  campaigners are today taking their battle to clean up filthy air in a Hampshire city to the European Commission.

They are to formally complain to the European Union about the chronic breaking of EU air quality levels in  Winchester.

This afternoon Green Euro-MP Keith Taylor will be in the city to highlight the complaint.

For years the city centre has had high levels of nitrogen dioxide, some 25 per cent over the maximum permitted under both EU and UK legislation.

Long-term exposure to NO2 at these levels is thought to increase the likelihood of asthma attacks and respiratory illness in children.

The campaigners are calling for the problem to be tackled by cutting traffic in the city centre.

Winchester Friends of the Earth asked the city council to produce a plan to meet the legal air quality requirements over a specific timescale. The council declined to provide such a plan, says FoE.

Mr Taylor, Green Party MEP, said: “I'm glad that people in Winchester have taken this bold step to voice their concerns at a European level. Air pollution levels are worryingly high and we've seen no serious action from either the city or the county council.

“I'm pleased to be supporting their complaint to the European Commission in Brussels. It's high time that action was taken to make Winchester a healthier, safer place to live in and travel around.”

Dr Michael Wilks, of Winchester Green Party, said “The health implications of a traffic-dominated town are very serious, both directly and indirectly. Indirectly, traffic inhibits the healthy alternatives to car access to the city - walkers and cyclists are deterred, intimidated and put in positive danger in a car-dominated street system. Motor traffic directly affects the health of Winchester residents through pollution.”

Hazel Agombar of Friends of the Earth said: “As a mother of children in a city centre school directly affected by the traffic, I constantly ask myself why it is that the city council believes it is so much more important to listen to the lobbying of business interests than to try and prevent our children being poisoned. We have waited years for the Council to take proper responsibility for this.”

Comments (6)

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3:59pm Fri 30 Nov 12

10 Minute Man says...

Perhaps the good burghers of Winchester can put away their MASSIVE 4x4s and walk their darling offspring to school instead.

That's for them to decide though; bleating to the EU is really the mark of someone who has failed to make the argument locally.
Perhaps the good burghers of Winchester can put away their MASSIVE 4x4s and walk their darling offspring to school instead. That's for them to decide though; bleating to the EU is really the mark of someone who has failed to make the argument locally. 10 Minute Man
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Oh good. Some body is campaigning on most important issue.

In this part of the country we are lucky enough to have two Green MEPs (Lucas and Taylor) and one Labour MP (Dr. Alan Whitehead) who really care about the environment. They deserve full support.

It may be touchy subject with some people, but unless something is done to protect the environment now, what kind of planet we will leave behind for our future generations can be scary thought.

Pity local Green Party did not advertise enough about the visit of their MEP to Southampton. Limited resources could be their problem.
Oh good. Some body is campaigning on most important issue. In this part of the country we are lucky enough to have two Green MEPs (Lucas and Taylor) and one Labour MP (Dr. Alan Whitehead) who really care about the environment. They deserve full support. It may be touchy subject with some people, but unless something is done to protect the environment now, what kind of planet we will leave behind for our future generations can be scary thought. Pity local Green Party did not advertise enough about the visit of their MEP to Southampton. Limited resources could be their problem. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Of the Ilk says...

I used to live in the middle of Winchester and soon after moving my asthma, which I had possibly grown out of, returned.
I now live on the edge of Eastleigh, and my asthma is much better.
I used to live in the middle of Winchester and soon after moving my asthma, which I had possibly grown out of, returned. I now live on the edge of Eastleigh, and my asthma is much better. Of the Ilk
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Fri 30 Nov 12

derek james says...

at first i thought this was a story about that even more evil pollutant that is going to destroy all humanity (in the eyes of freefinker and his ilk)CO2, i used to work in winchester about 25 years ago and the traffic was bad then but it,s infinetly worse now with the appalling one way system and myriad of traffic lights, get rid of the lights like they have in a dutch town (no increase in accidents) and there will be less pollution.
at first i thought this was a story about that even more evil pollutant that is going to destroy all humanity (in the eyes of freefinker and his ilk)CO2, i used to work in winchester about 25 years ago and the traffic was bad then but it,s infinetly worse now with the appalling one way system and myriad of traffic lights, get rid of the lights like they have in a dutch town (no increase in accidents) and there will be less pollution. derek james
  • Score: 0

10:08am Sat 1 Dec 12

forest hump says...

I'll bet all of the whiners drive vehicles and do feck all else but spout off for political reasons. Bunch of hypocrites, the lot of them.
I'll bet all of the whiners drive vehicles and do feck all else but spout off for political reasons. Bunch of hypocrites, the lot of them. forest hump
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Sat 1 Dec 12

freefinker says...

derek james wrote:
at first i thought this was a story about that even more evil pollutant that is going to destroy all humanity (in the eyes of freefinker and his ilk)CO2, i used to work in winchester about 25 years ago and the traffic was bad then but it,s infinetly worse now with the appalling one way system and myriad of traffic lights, get rid of the lights like they have in a dutch town (no increase in accidents) and there will be less pollution.
.. oh, do grow up and stop your gross misrepresentation.

Although, thinking about it for a few seconds, gross misrepresentation is what you science-denying conspiracy theorists do better than anyone else. So perhaps it’s a little naïve of me to expect you enter the grown-up real world.
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: at first i thought this was a story about that even more evil pollutant that is going to destroy all humanity (in the eyes of freefinker and his ilk)CO2, i used to work in winchester about 25 years ago and the traffic was bad then but it,s infinetly worse now with the appalling one way system and myriad of traffic lights, get rid of the lights like they have in a dutch town (no increase in accidents) and there will be less pollution.[/p][/quote].. oh, do grow up and stop your gross misrepresentation. Although, thinking about it for a few seconds, gross misrepresentation is what you science-denying conspiracy theorists do better than anyone else. So perhaps it’s a little naïve of me to expect you enter the grown-up real world. freefinker
  • Score: 0

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