Lorry congestion accused of polluting Portsmouth housing estate

CONCERNS have been raised about pollution from queueing lorries poisoning the air at a housing estate.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 2:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 5:04 pm

Anchorage Road in Copnor, Portsmouth, connects the nearby industrial estates with Eastern Road, and is frequented by lorries transporting goods in and our of the city.

But residents of the adjacent Anchorage Park estate say the lorries create congestion along the road, which is causing toxic fumes to linger in the air around their homes.

As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth has poorer air quality than parts of London, with high readings of particles such as PM2.5 – recorded at 12.42 microgramms per cubic metre of air (ugm-3) in 2018.

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A lorry driving through Anchorage Road in Copnor, where a 7.5 tonne road restriction is in place. Picture: David George

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Neighbours fear that their health could be affected if the lorries are allowed to continue queuing up along the road.

Colin Morris, 75, is a retired engineer who lives in the housing estate.

He said: ‘In the space of 30 minutes you can see around 20 lorries going past.

‘At rush hour they queue up and their engines are just ticking over, so the exhaust fumes are being pumped out into the air.’

In September 2013, Portsmouth City Council introduced a full-time weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes on the street, meaning only large vehicles with abnormal loads would be allowed access.

Mr Morris, who was one of the residents who campaigned for the restriction, added: ‘It makes me very irritated because it shows that these companies simply don’t care.

‘Our grandchildren are playing outside in the summer and inhaling these fumes – I dread to think what health implications that will have for them.

‘I feel like prosecuting companies for breaching these restrictions is the only way they will listen.’

Ward councillor for Copnor Robert New, says he would ‘fully support’ any proposals for a street camera to catch out miscreant motorists.

Cllr New said: ‘The restriction has been in place for some time now but the issue is enforcing it.

‘In the past we’ve written to the companies in the industrial estate, but a camera could potentially make a difference if the technology is there.

‘If we have the tech and the money then I’ll support getting one fitted.’