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Warning to motorists over air pollution

Newbury friends of the Earth urge motorists to turn off their engines

Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth


01635 886637

Warning to motorists over air pollution

THE Newbury Friends of the Earth group encouraged motorists to turn off their engines while waiting at the Thatcham level crossing on Friday in a bid to ease pollution in the area.

The group opening a ‘clean air and no idling zone’ at the crossing follows a study by Newbury Friends of the Earth called Unmasked: the true story of the air you’re breathing, which revealed several locations across the UK have higher levels of air pollution than previously thought. 

Spokesman for Newbury Friends of the Earth Adrian Foster-Fletcher said: “Today we’ve highlighted the matter by showing how the majority of car drivers can’t be bothered to switch off their engines even when they know it’ll be several minutes before the barrier will be raised.

“A car can travel one mile for every three minutes that it’s left idling.

“Air pollution is an invisible killer. We know road traffic in the town centre is the biggest problem – and diesel is the worst of all.

“This is exacerbated by drivers leaving their engines idling outside schools, the station etc. 

“We need bolder and quicker action to address this and to get diesel vehicles off our roads and encourage people to walk and cycle more.” 

According to a new Friends of the Earth report, 40,000 early deaths occur in the UK because of health complications caused by pollution to conditions such as cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and changes linked to dementia. 

Air pollution is linked to heart disease, lung cancer, worsening asthma and poor lung development in children.
The Government has recently been ordered by the High Court to produce a new air quality plan to address illegal levels of pollution in the country.

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Article comments

  • kinghelite

    11/07/2017 - 20:08

    Mr foster fletcher the biggest Diesel engines you will ever see are in pipers lane thatcham go see for yourself they have been there for years next to c and s car sales now that's pollution.


  • Justin S

    11/07/2017 - 13:01

    Just think of all the emissions still happening with all the 38 ton lorries still flouting the 7.5 t weight limit , which no one polices . The diesel trains coming through including freight. I guess they all went off in their electric cars back to Newbury after their 'help' . As Lee below says, put a bridge in there. But no one who would sign it off actually lives in the area , so it doesnt affect them !


  • LeeCripps

    11/07/2017 - 09:09

    Build a bridge, no waiting time. Problem solved? :D


    • Bombey

      11/07/2017 - 16:04

      cheaper just to turn the engine off


      • Justin S

        12/07/2017 - 13:01

        Potentially yes, but if you live in Thatcham and its winter and you want to keep warm and defrost the car, then you wont be sitting for 20 minutes at a time with the engine off or the middle of the heatwave last week. The debate for a bridge will hang for ever more . I spent 20 mins getting to my office in the car last night , as had to collect things I cant carry on my bike. The traffic went from the A4 to the crossing . Potential planning for new houses, must take this enviromental decision into consideration and cant be considered until a better way of crossing the rail line is built.