Pollution levels in Rugby are falling - but they are still too high

Air quality in Rugby is improving with levels of pollution generally falling around the town.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 2:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 6:34 am
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The Air Quality Annual Status Report for the borough has been submitted to the Government and is awaiting approval.

The report looks at air quality at locations around the borough where pollution levels have previously been identified as a problem. The figures cover 2017.

While nitrogen dioxide levels were above annual average targets in Dunchurch square and on the Gyratory in the town centre, both showed a reduction in levels.

For Dunchurch the readings were the lowest since 2014, and for the Gyratory they were down on 2017 and the lowest since the area was re-laid out in 2015.

Two areas which had previously breached pollution limits – Shilton and Corporation Street – both were below limits in 2017.

One departure from the picture of falling pollution levels was Whitehall Road. In 2017 this area recorded an increase in nitrogen dioxide levels, particularly between September and December.

The writers of the report say this rise could be down to roadworks on the Hillmorton Road, but add they will need to wait for the full 2018 figures before they can resolve this.

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide can cause respiratory effects including airway inflammation in healthy people and increased respiratory symptoms in people with asthma. It also creates ozone which causes eye irritation and exacerbates respiratory conditions.