25/11/2011

Traffic Congestion Clouds Air Quality

There's something in the air this week with news of improvements in Northern Ireland's air quality standard - but there's still big problems near major road junctions.

The NI Environment Minister Alex Attwood has advised that air quality here has continued to improve year on year.

However eight sites, close to heavily trafficked roads, within five district council areas reported levels above the required air quality monitoring standards.

Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide were reported at monitoring locations in Belfast (three sites at Newtownards Road, Stockmans Lane and Westlink/Roden Street), Castlereagh, Londonderry, Newtownabbey and Newry (two sites at Canal Street and Trevor Hill).

In addition, two sites in Newry, Canal Street and Trevor Hill, also showed high levels of particulate matter (PM10).

The news came from the Northern Ireland Air Quality Monitoring summary report launched this week with data on air quality levels in Northern Ireland during 2010.

The report, prepared by the Department of Environment (DOE) in partnership with District Councils, provides details of air quality monitoring, summary of results, long term trends and information on progress being made by councils in managing local air quality.
News Image
Commenting on the findings, SDLP Minister, Alex Attwood said: "I welcome the fact that overall, air quality continues to improve and is good for the vast majority of the time in Northern Ireland.

"However, some hotspot areas have been identified close to heavily trafficked roads that require additional measures to improve air quality.

"District Councils submitted action plans to my Department setting out a range of actions aimed at improving air quality at those hotspots.

"My Department continues to support actions to improve local air quality. In 2010/11 £571,000 of funding was provided to District Councils under the Local Air Quality Management grant scheme to enable councils to invest directly in improving air quality within their districts," he added.

Continuous monitoring undertaken at 36 automated sites across Northern Ireland show that Air Quality objectives were met in full at 26 of these sites.

Air Quality Management Areas have been declared in each of these District Councils and to date a total of 19 air quality management areas in 10 Council areas have been declared across NI. Action Plans to improve air quality in these areas have been formulated and are being implemented by the relevant councils under the provisions of the Environment (NI) Order 2002.

Monitoring has shown that Air Quality objectives are being fully met within two air quality management areas in Ballymoney and Antrim and as a result these were revoked during 2010.

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 July 2006
Air quality website for NI launched
The government has today announced that a website dedicated air quality is to be set up for Northern Ireland. Environment Minister David Cairns today welcomed the announcement and added that the website will provide a new medium for access to information on air quality.
06 December 2013
Air Pollution Text Service Launched
A new service has been launched that will enable air pollution updates to be sent by text message. Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has launched Air Aware, aimed at people who have existing chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease, so they can choose to limit their time outdoors or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.
30 May 2018
Electoral Commission Investigate Council 'Donation' To Ian Paisley Jnr
An investigation has been launched into a "donation" made to DUP MP Ian Paisley. According to a report by the BBC, the Electoral Commission (EC) is investigating a payment of £1,500 made by Mid and East Antrim Council to sponsor a tablet at a constituency dinner hosted by Mr Paisley at Tullyglass Hotel in Ballymena last year.
10 May 2018
Mid And East Antrim Borough Council To Waive Burial Fees For Children
Another council in Northern Ireland is to waive burial fees for children. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council waived the fees after a motion was brought by UUP Councillor, Stephen Nicholl. A similar scheme is already in effect in England and Wales.
08 November 2018
Stormont Fund For Disadvantaged Areas Did Not Operate Transparently
A Stormont fund to aid disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland did not operate transparently and had "significant failings", according to a report by the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO). The £93million Social Investment Fund (SIF), which was administered by the Executive Office, was allocated to support projects tackling deprivation.
14 November 2018
Other News In Brief
Irish Opposition Leader Dismayed By DUP Reaction To Brexit Proposal Irish opposition leader Micheal Martin has condemned the DUP's reaction to the draft Brexit agreement. Arlene Foster voiced her concern about the proposal, while East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said his party "will not be voting for this humiliation".
10 January 2018
Council To Launch Investigation Over Jayda Fransen Video
Belfast City Council is to launch an investigation after a video appeared with Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen wearing council robes in the Lord Mayor's chair. The video was posted online and shows her in a robe in the chamber of Belfast City Council at the City Hall.
05 January 2018
Local Boxing Deserves More Support From Council - SF
Sinn Féin has criticised a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee to provide just one-year of funding for the Belfast Boxing Strategy. Councillor Jim McVeigh said that the dedicated hard working people who have produced incredible results in boxing deserve more support from Belfast City Council.
04 January 2018
Belfast City Council To Reform Planning Services
Belfast City Council has announced it's intention to reform Planning Services, with a renewed focus on how it communicates with various customer groups. The announcement follows recommendations in a report it commissioned by Scotland's former Chief Planner, Jim Mackinnon CBE and broad consultation with a number of stakeholder groups.
02 June 2014
Environment Minister Praises Bryson Recycling
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has praised Bryson Recycling for the introduction of a new recycling model across Northern Ireland. Bryson Recycling is based in Mallusk and provides weekly recycling collections to over 170,000 homes across six council areas in Northern Ireland.
22 October 2018
Primark Plans Likely To Get Council's Green Light
Plans to begin dismantling part of the burnt Primark buildings are likely to be given the green light in the coming days, as planning officers have recommended that Belfast City Council approves the work. The decision must be ratified on Friday when the council's planning committee meets.
09 October 2003
Northern Ireland 'on course' with sustainable development: Smith
Northern Ireland is making steady progress towards putting Sustainable Development at the heart of the government’s work, according to NIO Minister Angela Smith.
09 November 2018
Roads To Close For Derry Girls Filming Despite Business Objections
A main road in L'Derry is set to close for filming of Channel 4's Derry Girls, despite objections from various business owners. November 14 will see a temporary road closure on Abercorn Road, as well as Shipquay Street and Shipquay Place on November 15 and 16.
17 May 2012
Committee Recommends Action On Air Travel Tax
The Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel today published a report on the proposed devolution of powers on Air Passenger Duty, ahead of an Assembly debate on Monday 28 May. The Committee sets out steps to minimise the extra burden which Air Passenger Duty places on the local economy.
02 June 2009
Little Hope For Irish Passengers As Air France Wreckage Found
Debris from a plane believed to be the missing Air France Flight 447 has been found floating in the ocean some 400 miles north-east of Brazil, the Brazilian Air Force has revealed.