WHAT'S HAPPENING
IN COLCHESTER?

CARELESS POLLUTION CAMPAIGN WINS NATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AWARD!

Colchester Borough Council’s CAReless Pollution campaign was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Consumer Engagement/Marketing Campaign of the Year category at the Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards. It was one of only three entries to be given this honour, from nearly 200 finalists across 23 different award entry categories.

The CAReless Pollution campaign was established in 2020 to tackle poor air quality in Colchester. The aim is to encourage drivers to switch off their vehicle engines when stationary, cutting pollution by up to 30%. It was created and developed in consultation with Colchester residents and organisations. It has been rolled out locally to schools and businesses, and it supports local residents in undertaking awareness raising activity in their own area.

In the 12 months following the launch, there has been a 9% increase in engine switch-off. The campaign has received funding from the government Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to run for another 12 months.

Clean Air Colchester is a key partner in the CAReless Pollution campaign, helping to tackle the worrying levels of air pollution in the centre of our town. Vehicle emissions are the main cause of toxic substances in our air, and it’s crucial we all work together to encourage local drivers to switch off their engines when stationary, and to switch to cycling and walking for shorter journeys.

WHAT IS THE AIR QUALITY LIKE IN COLCHESTER?

The main source of air pollution in Colchester is from motor vehicles. Vehicles emit air pollutants such as; nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and fine particulate matter. 

 

As the oldest Roman town in Britain, Colchester has many narrow roads in the town centre.  The buildings flank to form a canyon-like environment which can trap air pollutants, which means we end up breathing them.  As well, the traffic congestion that occurs every day in Colchester has a direct impact on the air we breathe.

LOCAL AIR QUALITY TALK AND FACTS

 

Listen to Dr Paul Byrne's presentation on air quality in Colchester and look through his PowerPoint

Local doctor, Paul Byrne, has presented this in-depth and fascinating insight into air quality in Colchester at a number of events. It is a fantastic local resource to better understand what is happening both nationally and locally. 

Air pollution in Colchester - Live - Dr Paul Byrne
00:00 / 00:00

DID YOU KNOW?

There are four areas in Colchester that have exceeded or are likely to exceed established air quality objectives.  These Air Quality Management Areas have been monitored for some years. You can learn more about these AQMAs here and see a map

The Green Party put up some air quality testing kits in Castle Ward in January 2018 and show air pollution levels in excess of legal limits (40 mg/m3). This table shows the results:

FINDINGS

Colchester Borough Council has found that on average, measured concentrations of the air pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide in 2016 went up over 6% from 2015 to 2016.

 

Monitoring data collected from four other local authorities in Essex showed increases from 4% to 10%, with higher air pollutant increases where traffic emissions are higher.