Now that Easter and Summer are approaching Canvey Island with its revitalised Sea Front attractions, new Shopping and Employment sites and further Housing developments, we can expect to suffer more frequent Traffic Congestion!
Many Islanders, having for years endured the daily commute whether delayed by the piecemeal road works along the A13, the lack of improvement to the A127, the suspect faults with the Sadlers Farm junction, the crawl along Canvey Way before / after being further held up along Somnes Avenue or Canvey Road and Long Road, are now getting used to the regular weekend AS WELL AS the weekday traffic hold ups across the Island!
All this while the Roscommon Way Extension, intended to link the east of Canvey Island with Canvey Road, and the Somnes Avenue widening both appear more distant in being achieved than ever before, whilst the 3rd Access Road across the Sunny Uplands and Unicorn Meadows to Pitsea / Thurrock appears more like an Aspirational Fantasy!
Whether it be through badly phased traffic signals, vehicles breaking down, insufficient infrastructure improvements, or visitors to the local “attractions”, one thing that will deteriorate is the Air Quality!
CPBC claim that there are 34 Air Quality monitoring sites in the Borough, though only one site being permanent, off of the Island at Hadleigh, of course.
Even so, given the nature and whereabouts of the current traffic congestion Hot Spots, maybe the siting of the temporary monitors may be better located. For instance the site at the “Garden Centre” at the Northwick Road junction.
Wouldn’t it be more effectively positioned these days just a few yards south of the “King Canute” traffic signals?
This is where traffic is regularly congested and where the small parade of shops and the residential home are sited, after all air pollution affects peoples health. Why position in a more open less populated area? Unless a Lower Pollution Reading is the preferred finding of course!
Instead CPBC prefer to site the temporary Air Quality monitoring device, when it is being used, tucked tight away behind fencing to the rear of the Garden Centre! See photo Below.
Even, Castle Point Council’s own Public Health Service Officer warned, of the pollution expected from the Business development proposal for “Land opposite Morrisons” stating the department; “objects to this application on the grounds of ‘increase of traffic’, and the effects which this would have upon air quality, a topic which is of Public Health significance.”
“It is the opinion of this Service that if the proposed development was permitted at the current time there would be an adverse impact upon the local air quality, with initial impacts during the construction phase. It is believed that the air quality would deteriorate further following occupation by new businesses, regular delivery vehicles and visitors to the site.”
An Extract from the CPBC Air Monitoring Report for 2018 reads;
“Castle Point Borough Council is taking the following measures to address PM2.5 (Fraction of mortality attributable to particulate):
Working with Essex County Council (highway authority) to deliver Major Transport improvement schemes to improve infrastructure, reduce personal car use and alleviate congestion. In addition to reduced exhaust emissions, these schemes will reduce non-exhaust emissions from brake and tyre wear by making traffic flows smoother.”
In practise these “Major Transport improvement schemes” amount to singularly, the Fairglen Interchange junction improvement!
“The main source of air pollution in the Borough is road traffic emissions from major roads, notably the A13, A127 and A130. Castle Point Borough Council has not declared any Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).
Potential transboundary pollution sources include the power stations along the Thames Estuary and the oil refinery in Thurrock, which have the potential to impact on air quality in Castle Point.
Other pollution sources, including commercial, industrial and domestic sources, also make a contribution to background pollution concentrations.We monitor nitrogen dioxide using diffusion tubes at 30 monitoring locations around the district. We also have a continuous analyser site which is currently being installed at the former Hadleigh Fire Station and will provide real-time nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide monitoring information. Prior to the 16th July 2010, the continuous analyser was installed at Furtherwick Park School, Canvey Island and provided real-time nitrogen dioxide monitoring information. The Council has over fourteen years worth of monitoring data from when the continuous analyser was installed at Furtherwick Park School.”
You can Download the Full CPBC Air Quality Report on the Page available via this LINK.
Info on the new London Ultra Low Emission Zone can be found HERE.
Photograph: Glyn Baker