Sea air is pollution-free at Felixstowe

THREE years of extensive tests on the air quality of the Felixstowe area have revealed that there is little illness-causing pollution in the atmosphere.

THREE years of extensive tests on the air quality of the Felixstowe area have revealed that there is little illness-causing pollution in the atmosphere.

Families had been particularly worried about fumes spewing from traffic on the A14 and wafting into their homes amid reports of pollution causing increasing cases of respiratory-type illnesses, including asthma.

But experts say the £100,000 research project has given the all-clear to the air next to the dual carriageway and say monitoring samples and computer predictions show that people have nothing to fear.

However, emissions pumped out by ships which call at Felixstowe Port are still being monitored.

These tests are assessing the amount of sulphur dioxide emitted by ships and seeing its effect on the nearby Cavendish Park estate.

Each year 4,500 ships come into the port, funnels pumping out a mixture of smoke and chemical particles into the air.

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Today Suffolk Coastal council announced that it is seeking residents' views on the findings of the research and people have until May 10 to respond.

"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," said Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment.

"These reviews have helped 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 reviews that there are no real problems with air quality in our district.

"The only area where further monitoring is necessary in relation to sulphur dioxide emissions is from shipping at the Port of Felixstowe and this is now being examined carefully as part of a six-month programme.

"This council is committed to improving the quality of life of this district, and air quality is clearly very important. This thorough review has given a big thumbs up for the district, but there is no complacency and we will be repeating this exhaustive exercise from the end of next year."

Pollution hotspots which were given the all-clear included High Road West, Felixstowe, which had been analysed for nitrogen dioxide.

In other parts of the district, the area around the Foxhall quarry was assessed, and also the A1152 at Melton, areas at Eyke and Bromeswell, and The Thoroughfare and Lime Kiln Quay Road at Woodbridge.

n Copies of the assessment reports are available on the council's website – www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/envhealth/airquality.html – or people can see them at the council's Melton Hill or Undercliffe Road West offices, and local libraries.

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