Town centre and Bury Park ‘at risk’ from excess nitrogen dioxide

Stuart Street and Dunstable Road are often clogged up with traffic
Stuart Street and Dunstable Road are often clogged up with traffic

Harmful levels of pollution have been recorded in Luton town centre and Bury Park, we can reveal.

During routine checks of air quality around the town, Luton Borough Council has discovered high levels of nitrogen dioxide which exceed national regulations.

LBC has written to residents and business owners around Stuart Street, Dunstable Road, Telford Way and Castle Street warning them that they are “within the area considered to be at risk from exposure to elevated concentrations of this pollutant”.

Urban nitrogen dioxide is typically generated by high volumes of traffic.

LBC has said that this, as well as congestion, is “considered to be responsible for the elevated concentrations”.

To combat the problem the council is proposing to declare Stuart Street/Dunstable Road an Air Quality Management Area.

As part of the AQMA the council must develop an action plan “to further prevent deterioration”.

A map of the proposed AQMA includes a number of streets off Dunstable Road and Stuart Street which are said to be affected by poor air quality.

This area includes Bell House Medical Centre. Dallow Primary School, Liverpool Road Health Centre and Bury Park Community Centre.

In a letter to residents and business owners LBC environmental health officer Claire Jaggard said: “In England 483 AQMAs have been declared in respect of high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

“These areas have proved very successful at focussing improvements in air quality, with 103 having been revoked since declaration due to an improvement in concentrations being achieved.”

> To comment on a consultation over the proposed AQMA, log on to luton.gov.uk/currentconsultations