A report issued on Tuesday 19 September by the FIA Foundation reports that children are particularly vulnerable to poor air quality. Poor air quality can damage the development of a child’s lungs. The report also finds a correlation between poor air quality and obesity and identifies traffic levels as a key risk factor in the development of obesity in children.
In a separate report the Royal College of Physicians stated that “each year in UK around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution”.
Improving air quality should be a major concern of Cheshire East Council. However, even after admitting that the figures had been deliberately and systematically manipulated, the Conservatives are still dragging their feet over putting in place plans to improve air quality.
Sam Corcoran, Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East said, “I would like to see a real time air quality monitor on the pavement on Middlewich Road between Sandbach High School and St Peter’s Rise. This could then measure the levels of pollutants which children are breathing in on their way to school. There are frequent traffic jams on this road at just the time when children are walking to school. There is clear evidence that poor air quality affects children - whether they are travelling in cars, cycling or walking. We need to improve air quality along the routes to school for our children. At present the Conservatives are simply denying there is a problem and not even measuring the air pollution levels on the route from Elworth to the Sandbach secondary schools.”
Cllr Nick Mannion, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Qwest & Ivy said;
‘Every day hundreds of children on their way too and from school and college have to make their way through Broken Cross in Macclesfield, where current levels of traffic congestion generated air pollution are already consistently above the lawful maximum.
There are also now planning applications to build hundreds of additional houses nearby that will further increase congestion and thus air pollution at this busy roundabout unless Cheshire East council wakes-up and takes urgent meaningful action to address the problem, and insists that housing developers pay for mitigation measures if their planning applications are approved.’