Cllr Flick Rea has put forward a motion calling for special monitoring of air pollution levels around Euston, ahead of the proposed HS2 development
Published: 16 January, 2015
by TOM FOOT
CAMDEN’S only Lib Dem councillor has warned that air pollution will reach lung-busting highs during the proposed HS2 development around Euston.
Fortune Green ward councillor Flick Rea has put forward a motion for next week’s full council meeting calling for special monitoring in Eversholt Street and Hampstead Road and warning in particular about the plight of young children in the development zone.
A new Maria Fidelis secondary school is being built off Eversholt Street, in Drummond Crescent – opposite where the proposed new HS2 Euston station could be built – and the adjacent block has also been earmarked for major demolition and construction works by Crossrail 2 planners.
But Cllr Rea’s motion, which has been backed by Green councillor Sian Berry, says: “Growing up breathing polluted air means that children living near busy roads have underdeveloped lungs, with health consequences throughout their lives.
“Particulate pollution is a particular health risk, and comes from diesel vehicles and a range of other sources, including construction, which is why we are particularly concerned about the cumulative effect on residents living near HS2’s prospective massive construction site around Euston.
“Therefore we also urge Camden to additionally set up automatic monitoring of gas and particulates in both Eversholt Street and Hampstead Road. This must be done soon so that residents with health concerns have at least a year of baseline evidence prior to construction, rather than their current unsatisfactory need to rely on modelling from monitoring stations well out of area.”
Major HS2 construction works are expected to begin in 2016, although the future of works at Euston Station is unclear.
It could mean hundreds of lorries coming in and out of Euston every day and huge tunnel boring and excavation works spread over a period of at least 15 years.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has recently removed regulations imposed on councils ensuring that air quality is monitored in a comprehensive way.
It means air monitoring is only funded or partially funded in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, Swiss Cottage, Euston Road and Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End.
Cllr Rea’s motion adds: “This council notes with concern that air pollution leads to at least 4,000 early deaths a year in London, and possibly many more. It causes heart attacks, strokes, cancer and worsens a wide range of respiratory diseases.
“We believe that the more we know about the air we breathe, the more we will do to improve it.”