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Residents protest against air pollution

On Thursday 20th April, Poplar locals gathered with Friends of The Earth Tower Hamlets & Hackney and Cllr Danny Hassell at the A12 to protest against the high levels of air pollution.

Poplar HARCA has been monitoring air pollution with a group of residents and found that areas with barriers or greenery have lower levels of nitrous oxide, with some areas of the A12 having over twice the EU legal limit of nitrous oxide.

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Chatting to residents through door knocking, HARCA found that a high number of people reported having asthma or respiratory problems. Residents are also concerned about the extra pollution, dust, noise and speeding lorries caused by the cement works factory Mix IT.

One resident said: “The school’s here, new builds, it’s not nice in the summer, people can’t have their windows open and there’s a builders site. We’re concerned about children’s health – my children are asthmatic and suffering.”

The A12 also physically divides the community, and its lack of barriers presents a high risk of accidents. Another resident said: “The A12 cuts through the community, there’s a big divide and if you walk or cycle you have to go right by the road. There’s a subway but it feels isolated to be in there.”

A resident from Teviot also spoke about the additional noise and pollution caused by planes flying to City Airport.

Residents are therefore protesting for:

  • More barriers and plantation on the A12
  • The A12 to go underground
  • The cement works to close down/be moved.

David Barns from Friends of the Earth said: “campaigning about air pollution is important – it has to be factored into planning and developments.”

The protest is ongoing. The group are going to come together again soon and invite the GLA and Tower Hamlets to discuss the issues. A group from youth leadership charity Uprising has set up an online petition and had a stall in Chrisp Street market on 22 April to raise awareness.

For further information or to get involved, please contact Sally Anthony:
07983 576501