Fumes fuel health fears

VILLAGERS are today demanding answers about the health risks of diesel fumes pumping into their homes.Families living close to the A14 at Trimley St Mary say fumes are often so bad they cannot open windows or sit in gardens.

VILLAGERS are today demanding answers about the health risks of diesel fumes pumping into their homes.

Families living close to the A14 at Trimley St Mary say fumes are often so bad they cannot open windows or sit in gardens.

While the situation is dreadful now, they fear air pollution will get worse in the years ahead as Felixstowe port expands with an extra million lorry journeys pounding the road.

But Suffolk Coastal council has given the A14 at Trimley the all-clear and says there is no need for further testing of the area's air quality until 2005.

Its latest air pollution report says it does not have details of the extra lorries which the new Trinity Terminal extension will generate – 260,000, the port has told the Evening Star – and makes no mention of the proposed expansion of the southern container terminal.

But Trimley St Mary Parish Council wants to know what the emissions were for the A14 near the Farmlands estate and where the readings were taken.

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The council is writing to the environmental health department and also asking if future levels of pollution can be calculated taking into account the extra lorries.

Chairman Richard Kerry said: "People living on the estate have some serious air quality problems in summer from diesel fumes and it is likely to get worse.

"We need to know if measurements have been done at the right time and from the most appropriate places by the sides of the road."

Suffolk Coastal is seeking residents' views following a fresh in-depth review of air quality carried out over the last few months.

The review looked specifically for seven key pollutants – including nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and lead – to assess them against government standards.

Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment said: "National policies on air pollution are expected to deliver a significant improvement in air quality across the country, but there are also things that can be done locally.

"These reviews help us take a close look at our district and identify if there are any areas where we need to take further positive action.

"The good news is that DEFRA has accepted the findings of our review which shows that the vast majority of the district is officially fine but there are some areas that need further monitoring."

A copy of the review can be seen at the council's offices at Melton Hill, Woodbridge, or Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe, local libraries, or its website www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/envhealth/airquality.html

n What do you think of the air quality where you live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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