28th Jun, 2022

Petition against Coundon Road closure in Coventry has 1,300 names

Felix Nobes 19th Mar, 2019 Updated: 19th Mar, 2019

A PETITION to prevent the controversial closure of the Coundon Road in Coventry amid air quality concerns has drawn more than 1,300 signatures.

Campaigner Glyn Davies has questioned the need for the drastic measure as part of the city’s pollution-busting Local Air Quality Action Plan.

It comes as the council seeks to combat emissions at hotspot Holyhead Road – which was recently judged to be the most polluting road in the West Midlands by green charity Friends of the Earth.

Mr Davis claims Coundon Road’s closure will only push more traffic towards the already polluted Holyhead Road.

He has also questioned whether the location of the equipment the council uses to measure air quality – next to the train line that runs above Holyhead Road – is distorting the roadside emissions readings given the increasing number of passing diesel trains.

He also says that the government’s guidelines on switching to less polluting car engines mean the council’s figures will soon be outdated.

Mr Davies has gained 1,389 signatures on his petition which has only been open five days.

He says on his petition: “Their findings did not take into account the pollution fallout or the diesel passenger trains that pass over these roads at slow speeds over 200 times a week – or the diesel freight trains.

“The passenger trains are also expected to double very soon as their timetables increase from hourly to half hourly.

“It is also apparent that they have not taken into account the knock on affect that this will cause to local doctors surgeries or homes for the elderly or the affect it will have on the commuters of the Coundon and Radford area.”

The Holyhead Road is a major artery connecting the ring road around the city centre to Allesley and the A45 to Birmingham, with the Coundon Road nearby.

Holyhead Road has an annual average of 75.6 micrograms per cubic metre of Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) – nearly double the target level of 40 in the Air Quality Objective, which is set to protect public health.

A spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: “No decisions can or will be taken without full and open consideration of local views. To solve one problem and create another is exactly what must be avoided and we welcome all suggestions.

“Air quality is continually monitored across the city, through a network of monitoring stations, and the Action Plan is based upon air quality and traffic data from last year, it takes into account the fact that diesel trains run on the nearby line.

“Diesel trains are a cause of emissions, but in the context of Holyhead Road, the evidence identifies that motor vehicles are the prime cause of the NO2 levels.

“The railway line is above the Holyhead Road and therefore the emissions will disperse rather than impact at road level.

“Our action plan is specifically targeting NO2, as this is a government requirement.

“It is true that over time, with newer vehicles, the NO2 emissions will reduce, but the modelling indicates that it will take several years for NO2 levels to reduce to the legal limits if we don’t take action.”

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