Maidstone Greens have welcomed the significant reduction in air pollution in the town’s most polluted road with NO2 pollution falling from 70ug/m3 in April 2019 to 38ug/m3 in April 2020. Research from across the UK and Europe has revealed the significant health benefit this is having and could continue to have.
Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: “The Covid crisis has fundamentally changed the way we live and work. While Covid has had a devastating impact on thousands of families, some of the changes society has made are for the better and we must seize this opportunity to permanently transform our lives for the future as well as to cope with Covid now.
“The impact of reduced traffic in Upper Stone Street has resulted in a drastic fall in killer air pollution, from 70ug/m3 in April last year to 38ug/m3 this year. For the first time in decades, Upper Stone Street pollution levels are within legal limits.
“Across Europe new research has shown an estimate 11,000 lives, 1,700 in the UK, have been saved as a result of reduced air pollution plus 6,000 fewer children developing asthma and 600 fewer preterm births.
“We will welcome the lifting of the lockdown when it is right to do so but we mustn’t simply return to the old normal. Society has shown how quickly we can adapt and we have the chance of lifetime to make lasting changes for the good of people and the planet.”
Data on Upper Stone Street from http://www.kentair.org.uk/Report/stationreport
European research reported: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/30/clean-air-in-europe-during-lockdown-leads-to-11000-fewer-deaths and https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/air-pollution-coronavirus-uk-lockdown-europe-avoided-deaths-nhs-a9490836.html