Dunchurch crossroads air pollution still high
And much of Rugby Borough Council's work on reducing air pollution has been put on hold due to the pandemic
The latest air quality data for the Dun Cow crossroads in Dunchurch show that pollution remained high in 2019, although average annual levels have fallen since 2015.
For three quarters of 2019, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at the crossroads were higher than the recommended limit.
And in November 2019, nitrogen dioxide levels recorded here were 50 per cent higher than they should be.
Rugby Borough Council’s draft Air Quality Report for 2020 gives information on air pollution around the borough in 2019, focussing on nitrogen dioxide concentrations.
Nitrogen dioxide is produced by engines running on fossil fuels.
The UK Air Quality Standards 2010 say that the concentration of nitrogen dioxide should not exceed 40 µg/m3 (40 micrograms per cubic meter of air) averaged over a calendar year.
Although the council’s ‘bias adjusted and annualised’ mean brings the average concentration of NO2 at the Dun Cow Crossroads to just fractions below the recommended 40 µg/m3, this average hides the detailed picture.
For three quarters of the year, recorded NO2 concentrations were higher than 40 µg/m3. In November 2019, NO2 levels of 62.4µg/m3 were recorded.
However, the general trend is going in the right direction: since 2015 annual average nitrogen dioxide concentrations at the crossroads have been gradually falling.
The annual averages given by Rugby Borough Council for the Dun Cow crossroads are:
2015: 48.9 µg/m3 NO2
2016: 47.1 µg/m3 NO2
2017: 40.7 µg/m3 NO2
2018: 43.3 µg/m3 NO2
2019: 38.5 µg/m3 NO2
Dunchurch crossroads, air quality monitoring results 2019
Month 2019 / NO2 concentration µg/m3
Jun: No data
Regarding the missing data for June, a Rugby Borough Council spokesperson said: “Socotec, which carries out the analysis of the diffusion tubes, leaves gaps in the data if the tube is considered to be contaminated or has gone missing.
”You'll see from the report it happens very rarely, and results at all our sites are averaged out over a year. “
Rugby Borough Council says in the report that much of its work on reducing air pollution has been put on hold until the pandemic is under control.
The problem with high nitrogen levels is the potential impact on people’s health.
“Chronic exposure to NO2 can cause respiratory effects including airway inflammation in healthy people and increased respiratory symptoms in people with asthma. NO2 creates ozone which causes eye irritation and exacerbates respiratory conditions, leading to increased visits to emergency departments and hospital admissions for respiratory issues, especially asthma.”1
The Dun Cow crossroads in Dunchurch is site S24 in the council’s report.
Rugby Borough Council’s draft Air Quality report is out for consultation until 15th March 2021.
You can submit comments on the draft report by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or posting your comments to: Air Quality Annual Status Report 2020 consultation, Commercial Regulation Team, Rugby Borough Council, Town Hall, Evreux Way, Rugby, CV21 2RR.