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Pollution levels a concern in Newhaven
Worrying levels of air pollution have been found in Newhaven.
Increasing numbers of cars and congested roads, especially when the swing bridge causes traffic jams, is being blamed for increasing levels of pollution.
Nearly 70,000 vehicles a day travel through Newhaven’s gyratory Levels of nitrogen oxide found there, particularly around South Way, are higher than safe.
The Findings have to be sent to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Councils have a statutory duty to monitor air quality, which is linked to quality of life.
Short-term increases in some pollutants are associated with increased deaths and people with respiratory illnesses’ symptoms can worsen when they are exposed to pollutants.
Long-term exposure is associated with reduced life expectancy, mainly as a result of earlier deaths from heart disease.
Research has shown exposure to nitrogen dioxide may increase the prevalence of respiratory infections in children.
Nitrogen dioxide is thought to have both acute and chronic effects on airways and lung function, particularly in people with asthma.
Lewes District Council’s air quality monitoring programme has already led to a number of worryingly high findings.
In 2005 Lewes Town Centre was designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), a national scheme put in place when pollution levels are too high to protect people’s health and the environment.
For several years the volume of cars in Newhaven has pushed pollution levels up to the limits of the recommended pollution standards.
But in 2010 levels rose, thought to be due to slow moving traffic near residential homes, and the council is expecting to now have to implement an AQMA – the 13th in Sussex.
In 2007 30% of emissions came from road transport and the energy industries accounted for another 29%.
But a report due to be discussed at the district council’s cabinet on Wednesday stresses that having an AQMA would not affect Newhaven’s regeneration plans.
The council is currently working closely with East Sussex County Council’s highways department to improve transport arrangements in Lewes and Newhaven.
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