A LACK of action on tackling air pollution in Studley has led to demands for action.
Studley is the only location in Stratford district which exceeds government targets for nitrogen dioxide – an exhaust pollutant that inflames the lining of the lungs, can reduce immunity to lung infections and can cause wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.
Its presence in the air contributes to other pollutants like particulate matter.
And although generally levels of pollution in the village have declined since 2012 they have 2015 started to climb since 2015 with one area in particular, by the Barley Mow island on the A435, breaching national targets.
“This is very disappointing because we know the proposal for the development of the Redditch Eastern Gateway has identified potential air quality issues, not to mention the potential growth of Redditch,” said Councillor Hazel Wright (Lib Dem, Studley & Sambourne).
And she hit out at the district council which in its own air quality report admitted it has not ‘identified any core actions to target sources of pollution’ and was instead relying on improvements in vehicle emission technology to improve air quality.
As a result environmental chiefs have agreed their 2008 Studley Air quality Action Plan needs updating in the light of continued pollution.
“I do acknowledge that this is a difficult area for Stratford but they’ve allowed ten years to elapse when it should be a high priority,” said Coun Wright.
The council’s report also recognises the development of the 30 hectare Eastern Gateway – the size of 50 football pitches – will have a further effect on air quality in the village.
Tony Jefferson (Con, Welcombe), portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety at Stratford District Council said: “The air quality issues in Studley are traffic related and, probably the result of substantial HGV traffic.
“The Air Quality Action Plan will be revisited in the near future. Because the cause of the air quality is traffic related both Warwickshire County Council and Highways England will be involved.”
It is estimated the annual health cost to society of the impacts of particulate matter alone in the UK is around £16 billion.