Air Quality Management in Swansea
(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)
The installation of the ‘Nowcaster’ air pollution monitoring system will provide a useful tool in assessing problems with air quality in Swansea. (‘Road signs to be rolled out to cut air pollution’, page 2, Friday November 16).
Anyone who has tried to cross Neath Road in Hafod in the middle of the afternoon, as I did on Friday last, will appreciate how traffic congestion is a major contributor to air quality problems in the area.
However, this system alone will not provide a solution. What it will do is “aim to redirect motorists along routes away from the areas concerned” – thus simply diverting the pollution elsewhere. And given that “further areas may need to be included in the air quality management area for Swansea”, the choice of alternative routes may be limited.
The only solution to air quality problems is to reduce the emissions that give rise to the pollution. In the case of pollution from road traffic, this means reducing the amount of traffic on our roads.
That’s not going to happen without significant improvements to public transport, no matter how many signs we erect.
Keith M Ross