Former National Green Party leader calls for action on air pollution in Reading

1 February 2018

Natalie, Rob and Brenda at Cemetery Junction with lorries

Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett recently visited one of Reading’s pollution hotspots to raise awareness of the high levels of air pollution in the town and urge action from the council.

Natalie visited Cemetery Junction, one of the most polluted junctions in Reading, which has pollution levels of nitrogen dioxide above the safe legal limit. Green Party councillors Rob White and Brenda McGonigle and local members joined her.

Natalie said: “Air pollution contributes to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK per year. This is a public health emergency.

“The centre of Reading is covered by an Air Quality Management Area because the government approved level for the harmful pollutant, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), is being exceeded. I urge Reading Borough Council to take more action to address this invisible killer and turn Reading into a breathing city.”

Green Councillor Rob White said: “It is very worrying that the levels of pollutants in the air around Cemetery Junction continue to exceed the safe limits set down by the EU. The high level of air pollution in Reading is badly affecting people’s health, worsening conditions like asthma – which the NHS spends over £1 billion per year treating.

“The Green Party cares about the health of our residents and believes that real differences can be made. The council is looking at introducing a Low Emissions Zone to reduce air pollution but has failed to progress this project since it was conceived in 2009 – 9 years ago. We need action now.”

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