High Road through Redbridge is London’s second-most polluted road

Traffic on the A406

Traffic on the A406 - Credit: Archant

The High Road running through Redbridge is the second-most polluted road in the whole of London, according to an assembly report.

Nearly 20,000 vehicles pass along the A118 through Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath a day, pumping out exhaust fumes.

Huge quantities of nitrogen dioxide were recorded, which can be toxic, along with carcinogenic benzene and particulates, which can cause asthma and other respiratory diseases after being inhaled.

Chapel Road, which links Winston Way with Ilford Hill, in Ilford town centre, was the second most polluted road in Redbridge, followed by the A12 Eastern Avenue,

Cambridge Park Road, in Wanstead, and Cranbrook Road.

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The director of public health for Redbridge and Waltham Forest, Vicky Hobart, said air pollution can lead to illness, admission to hospital, and even premature death in the worst cases.

She added: “For the majority of the population the effects of air pollution are not usually immediately obvious, although some individuals may notice symptoms such as irritation to eyes or throats when pollution levels are elevated.

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“However, some people are more vulnerable to the effects, as exposure can exacerbate existing health conditions including cardiovascular and respiratory disease and asthma.”

London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the impact on health “can be severe”.

She called for more electric vehicles and lower public transport fares and safer cycling lanes to cut the number of vehicles on the road.

Redbridge Council monitors air quality from two stations in Wanstead and Ilford and most of the borough is covered by a low emission zone, meaning heavy goods vehicles must meet green standards.

Environmental health officers also regulate petrol stations, dry cleaners and other businesses that could cause pollution.

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