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Is Sahara dust taking the fall for Twickenham pollution?
High levels of air pollution are causing concerns for asthma sufferers in Twickenham.
A combination of local emissions and dust blown in from the Sahara has caused smog across south-west London this week.
Anne Keane, a Twickenham resident of 35 years, suffers from asthma and said recent changes to Twickenham town centre had exacerbated the issue.
She said: “As an asthma sufferer I am very concerned at the air quality in central Twickenham.
“It appears that, even in light of recent results of increased air pollution, our council is intent on filling our town centre with traffic jams which in turn lead to high levels of CO2 emissions.”
Among her concerns are the narrowing of traffic lanes in Heath Road and the removal of the multi-stop for buses outside WH Smith.
Ms Keane, who lives in Sherland Road, feared changes in traffic layout were causing increased congestion which, in turn, had led to dangerous emissions affecting asthma sufferers such as her.
She added: “I travel across London and in other boroughs it is quite normal to travel from one green to another green light.
“Even when there is light traffic one is forced to stop at every light in our town - the situation has always been poor but it has most certainly worsened in recent times.”
A Richmond Council spokesman said: “There is a requirement for Transport for London to approve the work being undertaken in Twickenham, which they have done after rigorous traffic modelling and assessment of all aspects of the work.
“They are satisfied that the scheme is not detrimental to traffic flows and brings about improvements to the town centre.”
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recorded air pollution in London as in the “high” category - seven out of 10.
Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said people with asthma who find that air pollution makes their condition worse could be at an increased risk of an attack.
High pollution levels were expected to be recorded again on Thursday, clearing today (Friday) as winds direction changes.
According to Beijing-based air quality monitoring website aqicn.org, Bushy Park had the second-highest levels of air pollution at 1pm on Thursday, April 3.
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