Concerns raised over poor air quality in North Tyneside

Malcolm Scott, coordinator of North Tyneside Friends of the Earth, puts up one of the devices in Whitley Bay town centre.
Malcolm Scott, coordinator of North Tyneside Friends of the Earth, puts up one of the devices in Whitley Bay town centre.
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Campaigners are calling for an end to diesel engines after finding high levels of toxins at key sites in North Tyneside.

North Tyneside Friends of the Earth have been measuring the level of air pollution at certain sites.

And at six of the eight locations, they found the level of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was above the limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre, set by the European Union.

The worst area was Whitley Bay town centre, which registered 63.74 micrograms.

Second worst was Billy Mill Lane, North Shields, near St Thomas More RC Academy, ahead of the junction of Wallsend High Street and Station Road.

Rake Lane, near North Tyneside General Hospital, Norham Road roundabout in Silver Fox Way, and outside Holystone Primary School were the other areas registered above the limit.

Malcolm Scott, coordinator of North Tyneside FoE, said: “Bus companies must be urged to switch their fleets of vehicles from diesel, again preferably to all-electric buses. They should report on what progress they have made.

“We are planning to call for a meeting with councillors, cabinet members, officials, and FoE members to discuss what can be done.’’

Vicki Gilbert, of the North Tyneside Passenger Transport Users Group, which has already been campaigning on this issue, said: “These are frightening results as most people think we are clear of air pollution in North Tyneside.

“The levels show cars, lorries and buses are damaging our children’s health.

“The real question is: What action will our Government take?’’

Members of North Tyneside FoE are helping to launch the national Friends of the Earth campaign on diesel pollution at a stall at Tynemouth market today (Saturday).