Heavy traffic responsible for high levels of pollutants at Ely junction

car exhaust

car exhaust - Credit: Archant

THE volume of traffic passing through a key junction on the edge of Ely has seen an increase in the amount of harmful pollutants in the air, according to the results of testing.

East Cambridgeshire District Council constantly monitors levels of pollutants in the air through testing stations at sites throughout the district.

In a report to the community and environment committee this week, councillors heard how, overall, the air in East Cambridgeshire remains predominately good.

However, a special air monitor mounted on a minivan parked in Station Road, adjacent to the mini-roundabout and yards away from dozens of houses, has recorded higher levels of nitrogen dioxide than would normally be expected.

Further monitoring and research is to be carried out but councillors heard how the likeliest cause of such a rise would be from engine exhausts.

Cllr Richard Hobbs, chairman of community and environment committee, said: “It is not often we worry about the air which we breathe – we are lucky to live in a mostly rural area which has very clean air. However it was interesting to hear how levels of nitrogen dioxide were high in the Station Road area of Ely with the most likely cause being the car engine.

“While the levels are not dangerous at the moment – it is a reminder to us all how important it is to tackle the congestion which blights the south of Ely.

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“It further backs up our support for the A142 bypass and how plans to change the way we move around the city – whether it is by car, foot or bike - need to be progressed as soon as possible.”

The council has 29 sites throughout the district which are regularly checked to monitor the levels of pollutants.