Councillor Wendy Schmitt (Letters May 27) writes that Braintree District Council (BDC) assures us it is working hard to improve PM2.5 air quality. 

Looking at the most recent figures released by BDC, for 2019, there is cause for concern here in Witham. The pollution figures for the air quality monitor by our railway station reveal that for 11 months of that year the NO2 readings were in excess of the 40g. 

The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 require that the annual mean concentration of NO2 must not exceed 40. While the table produced by BDC refers to “Chipping Hill Bridge” the map reference is the rail bridge by the station. The figure for “Chipping Hill Bridge” (Grid Reference 582002 215111) gives unadjusted readings in excess of the legal limit for 11 out of 12 months. 

For November 2019 the figure was as high as 63.2. This is not the annual mean but the health impact on a daily basis is of concern. 

One side-effect of lockdown is that these figures will be much reduced during the ‘Covid’ years.

Dudley Chignall
Heart of Witham Preservation Group
Tudor Close, Witham