After sustained pressure from local Lib Dem councillors, Haringey Council has agreed to put a new air quality monitoring station near Muswell Hill roundabout. Initial plans presented to councillors included sites such as a quiet residential road in Highgate, but omitted some areas where air quality was expected to be worse.
Labour councillors had previously been accused of choosing not to monitor air quality in areas they knew would breach the legal limit, but initially refused to change tack. However, after local Liberal Democrats threatened to start a petition, the council backtracked and have now agreed to put a monitoring station on Muswell Hill, near the roundabout, as well as changing the proposed Highgate site to View Road.
Levels of toxic NO2 gas have previously been informally measured at around 75µg/m3 at the roundabout, more than twice the legal limit. Buses often idle on the roundabout, despite repeated confirmations from Transport for London that they will stop, whilst cars queuing up the hill also let off fumes due to the need for clutch control.
Cllr Scott Emery (LD – Muswell Hill) said:
“I am glad that the council have finally seen sense and agreed to put a monitoring station on Muswell Hill. This was an absolute no brainer, and I’m disappointed it took the threat of a campaign for Labour to agree.”
“Of course, this can only be the first step. Air quality monitoring is important, but won’t solve anything in itself. Hopefully, now that we will have a record of just how bad pollution is in the area, the council will be forced to agree to some targeted interventions to improve Muswell Hill’s air quality.”