Community group Barkingside 21 calls on Redbridge councillors to back cleaner air policies

Matt Goddin and Mira Vogel of Barkingside 21 at the defunct air quality station at Fullwell Cross ro

Matt Goddin and Mira Vogel of Barkingside 21 at the defunct air quality station at Fullwell Cross roundabout (credit - Barkingside 21) - Credit: Archant

A community group called on area three councillors to support measures to improve the quality of the air people breathe as they make their way around Barkingside.

Alan Howe, of Barkingside 21, asked the committee to introduce bye laws to curb engine idling and to reinstate an air quality monitoring station at Fullwell Cross roundabout which was decommissioned last year.

Speaking at the area three committee meeting in Hainault Forest Community Association in Manford Way, Hainault, last night, Mr Howe said: “We know that Redbridge Council is already doing lots of things on this matter and I’m sure it will appreciate all the help it can get.

“This is not an anti-car campaign, most of us have cars and need them for certain journeys.”

Mr Howe praised the example of Havering, where drivers can be fined £20 by the council for keeping their engine “unnecessarily” running while their car is parked in the road.

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Cllr David Poole said he could not support bye laws on engine idling.

But Cllr Nick Hayes said: “The Fullwell Cross area is one where it might be beneficial because of the huge number of schools.

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“We’ve all seen fairly large numbers of vehicles sitting with engines idling, collecting or dropping off children.”

And Cllr Alex Phillips added: “The idea has been tried elsewhere so it’s probably worth a report.

“Many cars are fitted with stop start technology but the idea has merit.”

Cleaner air policies aim to reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles which people breathe in.

The council previously operated a kerbside station at the roundabout to monitor air pollution, but this was decommissioned because of a “reduction in funding”, according to council officer Alun Sinclair.

It could be brought back into operation next year though, he said, when a station in Perth Road, Gants Hill – one of two working in Redbridge – is decommissioned.

Cllr Harold Moth called for a request to be made to the council’s cabinet to reinstate the Fullwell Cross station and he was backed by the committee.

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