13 January 2017

In light of last week’s news that air pollution from roads in increasingly linked to dementia and the results of their recent survey on air pollution, Maidstone Greens will be taking to the streets this Saturday (January 14th) with a simple message for Maidstone Borough Council, “Your decisions are killing us”. We will be walking through the Town Centre carrying our “Coughin' Coffin” and asking residents to sign our Air Quality Petition.

In November, Maidstone Greens set up air pollution monitoring around the town centre following the removal of the air quality monitoring station on the gyratory. The results have shocked the Greens with levels of NO2 in some areas being worse than central London. Around 130 people die in Maidstone each year as a result of air pollution which is linked to cancer, asthma, stroke,  heart disease and dementia. The World Health Organization states that it is the world's single largest preventable health risk. 

Maidstone Greens are calling for urgent action including live monitoring, road closures at peak pollution times, serious investment in alternatives to cars partly funded through a congestion charge and higher parking charges, 20mph speed limits, a significant increase in tree planting in the town centre, and a diesel scrapage scheme.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "Maidstone Borough Council has made a series of decisions which show their ignorance of the dangers of air pollution, from the redevelopment of the gyratory system, which will allow more traffic. To the building of more homes on the outskirts of town with no consideration for the increased number of cars that will bring.

“Our study shows that Maidstones' air is as bad as central London, yet our towns public transport is incredibly poor in comparison. It is time to take air pollution seriously."



Notes
1. See video here of Stuart Jeffery explaining the results:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwSZy3hMCIo
2. http://www.stuartjeffery.net/2015/12/air-pollution-kills-130-people-each.html
3. Royal College of Physicians:https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution
4. WHO Report: http://www.igsd.org/world-health-organization-confirms-air-pollution-is-worlds-single-largest-preventable-health-risk/
5. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/04/living-near-heavy-traffic-increases-dementia-risk-say-scientists