Kent Greens are calling on KCC to take urgent action to tackle the county’s “killer pollution” problem.
According to a major report published by Public Health England (PHE) last week, 25,000 people, aged 25 or over, died from cardiovascular and respiratory causes linked to long-term exposure to air pollution in 2010 (1). Kent has the highest rate of air pollution related deaths in South East England at 745. Neighbouring Surrey had 527 deaths, East Sussex 294, West Sussex 429, and Hampshire 294(2).
Out of the 12 Kent District Councils, Thanet had 90 air pollution related deaths, the largest number in the county. Canterbury was in second place at 81. The lowest numbers of air pollution related deaths were in Ashford with 50 and Tunbridge Wells with 46 (3).
Thanet Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, said “Too many people are dying prematurely because of airborne pollution produced by cars and industry. This pollution is also a cause of respiratory illness amongst children and young people and is a major contributor to climate change. KCC needs to urgently review this unacceptable situation and review and strengthen its strategies to reduce airborne pollution and premature deaths across the county”.
“Thanet and the other Kent councils should all be investing more money in the development of better cycling facilities, the promotion of walking and the improvement and expansion of affordable public transport. There should also be an major increase in roadside vehicle emission testing to catch and fine polluters”.
The PHE research was published several days after a report commissioned by Green Party MEP, Keith Taylor, revealed that almost 42,000 Kent school students attend schools located within 150 metres of busy roads (roads with more than 10,000 vehicle movements per day), placing their cardiovascular and respiratory health at high levels of risk (4).
Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution, Public Health England April 2014. http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317141074607
See above report
Figures extracted from 1.Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution, Public Health England April 2014.
District Attributable deaths
Tonbridge and Malling 53
Tunbridge Wells 46
Keith launches air pollution report in Canterbury http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2014/04/09/keith-launches-air-pollution-report-in-canterbury/