THE Echo (26/09/18) reported on Southampton Council’s joint project with Visit England and others to attract in-transit cruise ship passengers to spend their estimated spending power of £2million per ship on visits to this local area. The report stated: “The Port of Southampton welcomed more than 500 cruise calls in 2017”. The report also stated that the Project will be up and running my mid-2019.

This is the same Council which will soon deliberate on its Clean Air policy, including the possibility of a pollution charge bitterly opposed by local Tories, Road Hauliers and Associated British Ports. I wish the Council all power to its elbow in trying the improve the air we breathe. This is not an economic issue. Private profit is not more important than public health.

Whatever the policy outcome, there seems to be one public health issue excluded from this consultation, the cruise industry and its impact on our health.

Today, (27/09/18) the national press reported on a health warning posed by a huge new (55 per year) cruise ship terminal planned for the Thames. These ships, as here, would run their diesel engines round the clock to power their onboard facilities. Each ship, says the report, would be generating the same toxic NO2 emissions as almost 700 continuously running lorries. Who in Southampton is doing the science, or more importantly developing a policy to stop annually more than 500X700 toxic lorries docked here with their ignition running contributing to the air we breathe?

David Smith