Recently a number of people have raised the issue of pavement parking, highlighting Heaton Park Road as a particular problem.
Although the pavement, particularly outside the shops, is very wide some of the area is private land and gets used by people to park cars on. These parked cars often encroach on to the public pavement causing an obstruction, putting people at risk, and making it harder to get around our community.
The obstruction means people who walk (particularly those using pushchairs/wheelchairs) find it hard to get around, and there is a risk of accidents as cars drive along the pavement looking for a space. By preventing parking on the pavements, the area would become much safer, but also be more pleasant to spend time in – which has clear benefits for both local businesses and the wider community.
The opposite side of the road (by Heaton Perk) has no parking, and is a much more pleasant environment.
To raise awareness of this issue and ensure it gets addressed in the future SPACE for Heaton have started a petition where local people can lend their voice in support of keeping pavements clear for people.
We will be writing more about what the data is showing and what the current limits are shortly, but early indications show there are some areas to look at in more detail. For example, the national air quality guidelines say that PM10 particles should not exceed an average level of 50 µg/m³ over a 24 hour, period while European obligations say 50 µg/m³ should not be exceeded more than 35 times per year.
Readings of PM10 on Warwick Street on 12th January 2018 had readings around 100 µg/m³ for most of the morning before dropping during the afternoon.
European obligations for nitrogen dioxide are an annual mean of 40 µg/m³. Early readings taken from Chillingham Road on 12th January 2018 show a reading above that level at several points throughout the day but an average that currently meets targets.
Readings from the sensor on the Coast Road show an average of 68µg m³ for the 7 days from 6th to 13th Feb 2018.
As more data comes in over the next few weeks it will be possible to get a much clearer idea of the air quality across the area as well as what the causes of the different types of pollution are.