Greens reveal new illegal and close to illegal air pollution across Exeter

Independent analysis of air quality carried out by Exeter Green Party reveal that many parts of Exeter are experiencing illegal or close to illegal levels of air pollution. The Green Party commissioned nitrogen dioxide monitoring across Exeter during January at sites not currently measured by the City Council’s own tests. Most of the sites were identified by residents concerned by the risk of air pollution in the area.

The new results show that air pollution next to the Pyramids swimming pool on Heavitree Road is illegal; that it is only a fraction below being illegal at junction of the Exeter Deaf Academy  and St Leonard’s Primary School on Topsham Road; and that even a relatively quiet city-centre road – Queen  Street – still has very high levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution [1].

Responding to the results, Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, who recently slammed the Labour Council over their claim that air quality in Exeter is “generally good” [2], said:

“These independent results commissioned by the Green Party confirm what we have been saying for years – that levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide either exceed or are very close to illegal levels in more places than the Council claims. It’s time for the Labour led City Council to come clean with the public and explain just how serious the air pollution problem in our city is.”

Diana Moore, who is hopeful of joining Mr Musgrave as a Green Party Councillor for St David’s ward after the May elections, said:

“Ten years of inaction by Exeter City Council over our toxic air leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. We need immediate action, not any further smokescreens. Air pollution is proven to have serious impacts on everyone’s health, but especially on children, older people and anyone with a respiratory condition. We call on the City and County Councils to sit down together to agree urgent action to tackle these shocking levels of air pollution.”

The City Council is currently carrying out a public consultation on a draft air quality action plan management plan [3].


[1] Nitrogen dioxide monitoring results analysed by Gradko Environmental Ltd, expect where marked * – analysed by Friends of the Earth in March 2017.

Results from Exeter Green Party’s NO2 monitoring tubes

All results from measurements taken during January 2018 except where marked *

40 mg/m of nitrogen dioxide is illegal


mg/m3 *

Heavitree Road Opposite Bus Stop/ Exeter Physio


Topsham Road Opposite Deaf School, corner of Matford Lane (below St Leonards Primary School


Alphington Road/Sydney Road junction


Lower Coombe Street / Western Way junction 


Okehampton Road, just below Redhills / Buddle Lane traffic lights


Church Road Alphington, near New Inn Pub*


Bus Stop on Church Road, Alphington just up from Havills shop.


Queen Street Exeter, near Clock tower, outside fish and chip shop


Junction of Tudor Street & Bonhay Road Exeter, (near Fitness First)


Dan the Grocer’s Shop Magdelen Road near Mount Radford traffic lights


Cowick Lane, Bus Stop on West Exe School side, opposite Crabb Lane


[2] – minutes and appendices 



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