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Newport Conservatives Blog

Caerleon Air Pollution Levels

Newport Conservatives - Thursday, February 18, 2021
Caerleon Air Pollution Levels


Planning granted for 218 houses at former Uni-Campus
even though Caerleon’s Air Pollution
still way over legal limit!


A freedom of information request from Conservative Senedd Candidate for Newport West, Michael Enea, has revealed Caerleon’s Air Pollution levels were well over the legal limit, prior to the start of the global pandemic in 2020.

Despite this, a housing application for 218 residential properties was still granted last month on the site of the old USW University Campus site.

The legal limit on Nitrogen Dioxide Levels is set at 40 ugm/m3 over the course of a year. A reading outside 15 High Street clocked 48.6 ugm/m3 throughout 2019 and 50.9 ugm/m3 in 2018.

The regulatory level was also breached outside 18 High Street in 2018 and 2019. Also. 9 Castle Streer exceeded the limit in 2013.

There has been drop in Air Pollution in Caerleon in recent years, but the figures are still way over the legal regulatory limit. The 2020 readings would be largely dismissed as an anomaly, due to substantially less traffic being on the roads during the COVID19 lockdown periods.

1 IN 18 NEWPORT residents KILLED each year BY AIR POLLUTION

Statement from Michael Enea

“This FOI presents deeply alarming data that can’t be ‘glossed over’ by Newport Council. How can they grant planning permission for 218 more houses in Caerleon when its High Street was 20% above the legal limit on NO2 levels? There’s only one way in-and-out of Caerleon and that’s to go onto the central one-way system.”

“We will see an estimated 200 plus, extra vehicles, going onto Caerleon’s roads after they build this new housing estate. That is not going to lower Air Pollution levels.”

Statement from Caerleon Cllr Joan Watkins

“This FOI presents concerning figures. It’s also revealed they have never even taken any NO2 readings directly outside Charles Williams Primary School which is located next to the Air Pollution Zone. During the school-run the traffic can come to a virtual standstill outside the school. The FOI has also revealed, the Council haven’t been monitoring the number HGVs going over Caerleon’s old bridge even though there’s meant to be a 7.5tonne limit? There’s real concern the HGVs are contributing to the Air Pollution.”

“Last week, we saw a well respected Senior Councillor quit the Planning Committee describing it as ‘toothless’. What on earth is going on? Caerleon’s infrastructure such as schools, roads and GP surgeries can’t cope. I shall be writing to the Head of Law for Newport Council demanding answers.”





Subject: Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels on the High Street, Mill Street, The Priory, Castle Street, Goldcroft Road and Station Road in Caerleon.

Background: In 2015, a Caerleon AQMA Source Apportionment and Transport Intervention Report was published after a study had been undertaken outlying the NO2 levels at various points within the Caerleon AQMA zone from 2009 to 2014.

Question 1.
The E.U. Air Quality Directive (2008/EC/50) set a limit on maximum NO2 Concentrations (ug/m3) of 40 to 42 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). We have now left the European Union. What is the present U.K. legal limit /guideline / regulation on maximum the NO2 Concentrations (ug/m3) on roads in Wales and in residential areas?

Answer: The present air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide are:
A one hour mean level of nitrogen dioxide of 200 µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year.
An annual mean level of nitrogen dioxide of 40 ug/m3

Question 2.
Please provide the annual mean NO2 Concentrations (ug/m3) at diffusion tube sites, at the following locations below, for the last five years - 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Please display in a table format.


13 Mill Street
High Street -recorded a reading of 50.5 in 2013
15 High Street - recorded a reading of 67.5 in 2013
18 High Street -recorded a reading of 56.6 in 2013
The Priory Caerleon
6 Castle Street
1 Castle Street
7 Castle Street
9 Castle Street - recorded a reading of 44.5 in 2013
19 Goldcroft Road
9 Station Road
5 High Street
96/98 Mill Street

The above destinations are taken from the 2015 a Caerleon AQMA Source Apportionment and Transport Intervention Study. If these destinations are no long recorded, please provide readings from the site locations that have been monitored over the last 5 years.

Answer: It has only been possible to provide data for the 5 year period 2015 to 2019 as data for 2020 has not yet been ratified and reported.

Year/Location  2015  2016  2017  2018  2019
 13 Mill Street  19.5  20.7
 High Street(14)  43.5
 15 High Street  56.5
 18 High Street  48.4
 The Priory  34.0
 6 Castle Street  29.2
 1 Castle Street  26.3
 7 Castle Street  33.6
 9 Castle Street  38.4
 19 Goldcroft Common  N/A
 9 Station Road  23.5
 5 High Street  24.9
 96/98 Mill Street  19.5

All table values are expressed in ug/m3 as nitrogen dioxide bias adjusted annual averages.


Question 3.
In Caerleon. Have any NO2 readings been undertaken outside Charles Williams Primary School area between the houses on 1 to 4 High Street and Wells Pharmacy at Wednesday House, High Street?

Answer: None that we are aware of.

Question 4.
Since 1st January 2016, what measures have been taken by Newport City Council in respect of combatting and lowering NO2 levels at the site locations outlined in question 2.

Answer: Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Points in the public domain (that will include Caerleon) - ongoing

Promoting Clean Air Day and other public engagement projects - ongoing

LAQM diffusion tube monitoring - ongoing

Planning SPG and push for more sustainable transport/heating systems – introduced 2018; ongoing

ECOSTARS scheme for reducing fleet fuel usage - ongoing

E-Bus roll out including Caerleon routes 2020 - ongoing

Sustainable Transport Strategy – ongoing

Purchase of zero emissions electric refuse collection vehicles to be used in Caerleon and other AQMAs’

Question 5.
Since 1st January 2016, what measures have been taken by Newport City Council in respect major infrastructure projects relating to the combatting and lowering of NO2 levels at the site locations outlined in question 2.

Answer: We are not aware of specific measures in respect of major infrastructure projects solely relating to combatting and lowering NO2 levels at these very specific site locations outlined at Q2, but where projects take place there can be direct benefits for air quality where this is part of the scheme concerned.

Question 6.
Have any monitoring studies been undertaken by Newport City Council on the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) travelling over Caerleon's Usk River Bridge - which has restriction cap of 7.5 tonnes (unless for access to village itself). If so, when were was study undertaken, over what period of time and how many HGVs were logged as passing over the Bridge?

Answer: This information is not routinely recorded.

I hope this provides the information you were looking for; if there is any further information that we can provide, please submit a further request. If you have any queries about this email or if you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, please contact me.

If you are not content with the subsequent outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Councils complaints procedure. To contact the Information Commissioner click HERE.

For future reference, all Freedom of Information requests can now be submitted via the link below.

Kind regards,
Information Management


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