Is air pollution a problem in Alnwick?

Members of Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth installing diffusion tubes. Picture by Cathy Crowther.
Members of Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth installing diffusion tubes. Picture by Cathy Crowther.

Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth is monitoring air-pollution levels in Alnwick as part of a national Clean Air Campaign.

Diffusion tubes, which measure concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, have been installed at 10 sites around the town for three weeks. The results will show if and where air pollution is a problem.

Air pollution is described as an invisible killer – it is linked to asthma and heart disease and has a particular impact on children and older people. Fine-particle air pollution and the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide are the main causes; nitrogen dioxide emissions come from road traffic, with diesel vehicles being the worst offenders.

Lisa Bellamy, of Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth, said: “While we strongly welcome tourism in Alnwick and appreciate the need for easy access to businesses, ever-growing traffic in and around the town is, possibly, creating increased levels of air pollution.

“These tests will show us if there actually is a problem and, if there is, we’ll encourage the council to find ways of tackling the issue.”

The group plans to make public its findings in the late summer.