AIR POLLUTION is a problem many would associate with big cities such as London and Birmingham – but the issue continues to affect Warwick district.
A report into air quality by the World Health Organisation (WHO) cites Leamington as one of the worst places in the country for air pollution.
The organisation say the poor quality puts the ‘youngest’ eldest and poorest’ members of society at risk.
Previously The Observer revealed how environment chiefs had named the top three pollution hot spots in the district underneath the railway bridge on Clemens Street, Jury Street in Warwick, and Barford. Heavy traffic was blamed for the high levels of pollutants.
And with the district set to build nearly 17,000 homes by 2029, Labour councillors have spoken out about their concerns the problem will get worse.
Coun Matthew Western told the Observer: “We face a massive problem here and this report serves as a timely reminder to act quickly and substantively.
“Two years ago I urged Warwick District Council Leader Andrew Mobbs to act on air quality in the face of thousands more homes and cars resulting from the emerging local plan.
“The resulting air quality action plan does not address the seriousness or urgency of the crisis we face.
“In some areas the levels of pollution are severe, caused by the heavy, stagnant traffic and the ‘canyon-like’ streets of narrow pavements and high buildings.
“With large numbers of old buses passing through and an increased number of diesel cars on our roads – the cocktail is particularly toxic in these areas.
“The local plan shaping the district until 2029 will see some 9,000 homes built to the south of Leamington, Warwick and Whitnash and this will only exacerbate the already serious problem.”
Warwick District Council say their Air Quality Action Plan aims at reducing emissions in the district by promoting alternative travel options and ensuring developers take the air quality into consideration.
The council had not responded to request for comment at the time of going to press.