12:01PM, Saturday 04 July 2020
Steps the council is taking to improve air quality in Slough were reported to councillors last week.
A report was presented to the health scrutiny panel following members' concerns that the levels of pollution were harming residents.
It said the main sources of air pollution in Slough were caused by transport and that the latest figures from 2018 showed that 6.5 per cent of all cause adult mortality in the town was attributed to air pollution. This equated to around 50 to 60 people in Slough and was higher than the national and South-East average.
Public health officer Tim Howells said the borough subscribes to a service called AirTEXT which predicts air quality and emissions across London and the surrounding boroughs and delivers air quality alerts by SMS.
He said: “It becomes a particular issue when it goes above moderate but what AirTEXT allows us to do is keep track of it and give that data to our colleagues in primary and secondary care.”
Sophia Norfolk from the environmental quality team also gave an update on the council’s low emissions strategy. She said the council continuously monitors air quality at six locations and has been awarded funding by Defra to monitor air quality outside four schools: Claycots Primary School; Cippenham Primary School; Penn Wood Primary School; and Pippins Primary School.
The project was due to run from June until November but has been pushed back due to the coronavirus crisis into next year with data being fed back to schools.
The council will also consider implementing a clean air zone, which would have the same function as London’s ultra low emission zone.
This would focus on three hotspots in the borough: Brands Hill gyratory; junction 6 of the M4 leading to Tuns Lane; and A4 Bath Road leading to Wellington Street.
A feasibility study is due to take place soon.
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