Clean Air for Henley
Having one of the few bridges over the Thames that is strong enough to take traffic, Henley suffers extraordinarily from Air Pollution from Traffic. In addition its position in the Thames Valley lends to several incidents of an inversion effect that traps the pollution in the town. Henley was designated an Air Quality Management Area in 2007 by SODC but little has happened to alleviate the situation. There is a trend downwards overall probably due to the country’s reduction in the use of coal. Transport pollution continues with HGVs continuously using our town but also by the recent growth of diesel vans and 4X4s.
There are 2 main types of Pollution; Nitrogen Dioxide and Carbon Particulates.
Nitrogen Dioxide has been measured since about 2003 as it is relatively inexpensive to do. There is an act that promises us Clean Air to Breathe. This has not happened for a while now. As recently as December 2020 18 out of 22 days saw readings about the legal limit. In our visit to Primary Schools we see 20% of children using inhalers. The situation calls out for action.
Carbon particulates have not been regularly measured as this exercise is quite expensive. However Henley does now have a formal Council funded monitor at the bottom of Greys Road, placed there following our own unofficial readings showing it to have the highest readings in Henley. However this was before Covid. Medical research is now being focussed on this area and every report points to a serious situation as Carbon Particulates do not dissolve when they enter the body ( remember we are 98% water!)