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Letter: Changing Legal Limits Is Pretending Air Quality Problem Doesn’t Exist

Published on: 18 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 18 Jun, 2022

From Sophie Gordon

Member of Extinction Rebellion Guildford

Clean air campaigners from Extinction Rebellion Guildford staged a banner drop on Thursday, June 16 to raise awareness of the high levels of air pollution in the town.

This coincided with national Clean Air Day which saw events and activities around the country highlighting the urgent need to improve air quality, which is often above World Health Organisation (WHO) safe and legal limits.

Extinction Rebellion protesting over poor air quality in Guildford on June 16.

The campaigners positioned themselves beside the notorious one-way gyratory system in the centre of Guildford at morning rush hour to capture the attention of both drivers and pedestrians.

As one of the campaigners, Anna Deadman, said “We are living in an area where the pollution is often three times above the WHO limits, bringing with it an increased likelihood of a whole range of health risks including stroke, heart disease, reduced lung development in children, asthma and severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia.

“We don’t feel the government are taking enough action to reduce this serious threat to health. They are even proposing to increase the legal limit for what counts as an acceptable level of air pollution. That’s not tackling the problem, it’s pretending the problem doesn’t exist.”

We hope that the banners and a recent clean air outreach day on the High Street will inspire Guildford residents to take action and respond to the government consultation on setting targets to reduce air pollution, as well as thinking about changes we can make in our own lives to improve air quality such as using the car less.

You can add your voice to the consultation by filling in the survey on the Asthma+LungUK webite here.

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test One Response to Letter: Changing Legal Limits Is Pretending Air Quality Problem Doesn’t Exist

  1. Brian Creese Reply

    June 18, 2022 at 11:51 am

    I totally support and agree with Sophie Gordon on this. But surely one of the solutions is regular, reliable and affordable bus services (see my letter: My Bus Service Has Got Worse).

    We need both GBC and SCC to ensure bus services are run reliably and at the times people need them. We also need the Park & Ride services expanded not closed down so people coming into Guildford can leave their cars outside of the centre.

    Brian Creese is the chair of Guildford Labour

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