‘FRIENDS OF THE EARTH’ INDEPENDENTLY TEST COGAN AIR-POLLUTION LEVELS

Anne Greagsby

Anne Greagsby Friends of the Earth activist and St Augustine’s Ward Plaid Cymru candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan Council with distinguished environmentalist Dr Max Wallis of Cardiff University.

The local branch of the environmental group “Friends of the Earth”‘ has been carrying out its own independent measurements of air pollution in Windsor Road Cogan – where standstill traffic in the infamous “Cogan Dip”  is creating excessive concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide and other noxious gases.

FoE Penarth activists, Anne Greagsby and Dr Max Wallis ( that’s them above , wearing the breathing masks in the photo ) visited the location where the FoE pollution testing tube was installed on a telegraph pole for a test period of four weeks.

Ms Greagsby  is the Plaid Cymru candidate for the St Augustines Ward in the elections for the new Vale of Glamorgan Council – due to be elected on May 4th.

Queuing cars, buses and lorries make this  location a “pollution hotspot” . The monitoring carried out at Cogan is part of a nationwide Friends of the Earth initiative- using NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) scientific diffusion tubes supplied by Gradco and will be analysed in Gradco’s specialist laboratories.

The Barry & Vale FoE group has put up similar test equipment in Dinas Powys and Barry, as well as the Cogan site – which has been so bad for so long it’s officially desigated as an Air Quality Managemetn Area – a classification which compels the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council to come up with an ‘action plan’ to tackle the problem.

FoE say that the Vale Council had moved its special monitoring equipment – which had been installed at the junction with Andrew Road –  to a spot adjacent to the pedestrian crossin where the pollution levels were lower . The FoE says the council is obliged to place monitoring equipment where public exposure to pollution is highest.

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12 Responses to ‘FRIENDS OF THE EARTH’ INDEPENDENTLY TEST COGAN AIR-POLLUTION LEVELS

  1. Simon says:

    That Anne Greagsby gets about. Good for her.

  2. Tim Hughes says:

    I am surprised the area near Andrews Road has higher pollution levels than near the junction with Pill Street. The Andrews Road area is much more elevated and open.

    • Sick of the same old politicians says:

      Probably due to the tailbacks not going as far back throughout the day..

    • Max Wallis says:

      The automatic pollution monitor used to be at the Andrew Road corner. Its high readings near or exceeding the NO2 limit (40 ug/m3) led to the decision to declare the Air Quality Management Area. This area was drawn to include all the Cogan housing on Windsor Road, a few diffusion tube monitors showing high levels up the terrace too.

      The automatic monitor has read lower than co-located diffusion tubes in both 2014 and 2015, since it was moved from Andrew Road corner. So there must be a question, is it sampling the air properly?.

      Results vary from year to year, largely die to weather conditions; the regulations require the worst weather conditions to be covered, so finding that 2014 and 2015 were low does not allow the VoG to revoke the AQMA and abandon their (non-existent) action plan.

      The shops at the old Docks station (tubes at ‘Marine scene’) show readings of 40 or more .from 2011-2014, generally higher than the Andrew Road corner. The VoG report declined to extend the AQMA to include the shops and the corner businesses, as they said the general public is not exposed for long.

      Now, however, the Council officers are recommending approval of new housing (44 social housing units), despite the probability of unlawful pollution levels.

      The Air Quality assessment predicts air pollution will be no problem, on a model that predicts substantially lower NO2 levels by 2018. The modelling is nonsensical
      # uses winds measured at Rhoose, far stronger and different directions from at Cogan
      # uses background levels scaled from Fonmon, instead of Cardiff area urban levels
      # assumes flowing traffic, not the stopping and starting vehicles up to the Terra Firma Way and Barons Court roundabouts.
      # models the situation as a ‘street canyon’, which does not explain the highest levels being measured at the’Marine Scene’ shops and Andrew Rd corner.
      # gets far too low predictions so ‘adjusts’ with a fudge-factor of 3

      The VoG measured lower NO2 levels in 2014, 2015, which they attribute to changed traffic light timings at Barons Court that reduced the vehicle queuing on Windsor Road. Expected increases in traffic will worsen the queuing so move back towards previous excessive levels. The AQ modelling ignores this likely change.

      The modelling cannot be considered fit-for-purpose. A precautionary approach has to lay weight on the closest measurement sites (Marine Scene), assume that high NO2 emissions due to cheat-devices on diesel cars will not be corrected for some years, and assume that elevated emissions due to traffic congestion will worsen.

      ‘Final warning’ for UK over breaches of air pollution standardshttp://www.penarthtimes.co.uk/news/national/15093929._Final_warning__for_UK_over_breaches_of_air_pollution_standards/?ref=twtrec

  3. David Moorcraft says:

    I hope the tests weren’t done during the school half term, I live in Cogan, and the notorious stationary queues are far less evident during school holidays.

    Please look at the road layout over the railway bridge leading up to the Barons Court traffic lights and ask yourself why there isn’t ONE lane coming Down toward the “Tesco” roundabout, and Two lanes going up to the lights , to vastly improve traffic flow out of Penarth.
    Oh and why the faded , curved white line which helped two lanes of traffic to turn right easily on to the link road hasn’t been repainted. .

  4. Blue says:

    I notice that the leaflet in Mrs Greagsby’s hand says “Friends of the Earth with Plaid Cymru”. The new CEO of Plaid Cymru is Gareth Clubb who was formerly head honcho of FoE Cymru.

    Mr Clubb went out on a limb to defend Mrs Greagsby’s mentor, Neil McEvoy, last weekend against an “unfair” tribunal date being imposed on McEvoy by Wales’ Ombudsman. McEvoy is accused of bringing Cardiff council into disrepute.

    Maybe the Clubbs (Gareth has a twin brother who runs RenewableUK Cymru) want to merge Plaid with these green organisations and bypass the Green Party – an organisation that Mrs Greagsby was kicked out of!

    My suggestion might not be very green but I suggest draining the swamp that these people build their careers on: this is political cronyism gone mad and has nothing whatsoever to do with Welsh nationalism – Plaid Cymru’s reason for existing.

    • Simon says:

      Had it occurred to you that it might be an idea for Plaid to dilute its Welsh nationalism message to be of even remote appeal to the majority of voters in Wales?

  5. Blue says:

    Yes I had occurred to me. Merging operations with FoE Cymru is a step too far though.

  6. Brian O'Boyle says:

    “This is the sound of Altern 8”

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