Want to carry out air pollution tests in your neighbourhood? We can help you

No to Silvertown Tunnel surveys

Left: No to Silvertown Tunnel volunteer Ian Blore outside Meridian Primary School in Greenwich. Right: Our committee members Chris Taylor and Jill Austen in Peartree Way, also in Greenwich.

Update – 12 January 2017: Applications for this scheme have now closed.

Have you ever wondered just how pollution affects your neighbourhood? We’re offering local communities the funding to carry out their own air pollution tests in the New Year.

Since 2013, the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign has carried out three different air pollution studies in south-east and east London. The studies are simple – you tie tubes to lamp posts, leave them there for four weeks, then you take them down and send them to a laboratory, which analyses the results and sends them back to you.

2013 study: east Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton and around the A102 and A2
2014 study: across Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs, plus parts of Bexley, Newham and Southwark (with help from Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart)
2015 study: around Canning Town, Poplar and Silvertown

We used these studies to highlight the state of the air on roads affected by Blackwall Tunnel traffic, and to point out the threat the Silvertown Tunnel poses to these areas.

The studies were really valuable to us. In fact, they’re even highlighted in Transport for London’s own air quality reports into the tunnel scheme. Our work has also kick-started other pollution study projects in east Greenwich, Charlton and Slade Green.

Now we’d like to see more groups carry them out in different areas – so we’re offering funding for two community groups to work with our friends at Network for Clean Air to carry out their own studies in the New Year.

The money comes from donations given at the funeral of Terry Grant, who helped us with our studies in 2013 and 2014. Terry was a big supporter of our campaign, and we’re very grateful to his family for offering us the money to help us do this.

We’d like to measure our own air pollution – what do we need to do?

We’re keen to hear from people in south-east or east London who want to carry out their own studies.

You don’t have to be a formal residents’ group. You could be a group of neighbours concerned about the air in your street, or parents worried about what your children are breathing. It could also be for a school project, or for just one or two streets. (We were inspired to carry out our studies by the Putney Society‘s work on Putney High Street, which has now forced City Hall into declaring it a “green bus zone”).

But you and your group do need to be able to give up a few hours to put the tubes up, and a few more to take them down four weeks later. You can then use the results to get press attention and lobby politicians for action.

Interested? Please e-mail us – info@silvertowntunnel.co.uk – before Wednesday 11 January.

To be considered, please let us know…

  • the specific area you are thinking of covering,
  • why you want to do it (it doesn’t have to be Silvertown Tunnel-related),
  • how many tubes you think you’ll need (we reckon between six and 16, but this will depend on how large or small an area you’re thinking of covering),
  • what you’d like to do with the results,
  • how many people you’d be working with.

We’re also very keen to hear from groups who haven’t done this before, and in areas that haven’t been studied before.

We’ll be bearing these criteria in mind when we work out which projects to fund. This is aimed at groups of people who want to study pollution in a particular area – we’re not offering funding for single tubes outside people’s homes, and we aren’t interested in applications from individuals who aren’t working with other people.

If we choose you, we’ll put you in touch with Network For Clean Air, who will obtain the tubes and help you get started.

So, please have a chat with friends or neighbours, and drop us a line.