AIR pollution monitoring will be prioritised in Mayfield to assess the impacts of up to 1,000 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) travelling through the area per day if a pilot programme proves successful.
Cork City Council is currently trialling an air quality monitoring unit at the Kinsale Road civic amenity with tests set to be completed by the end of the month.
Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan has called for Mayfield to be the first area to receive a monitor because of what he described as “serious” levels of air pollution caused by traffic on the North Ring Road.
“There are hundreds of diesel engine trucks traversing the road on a daily basis. On some days there are between 900 to 1,000 trucks coming through Mayfield,” he said.
“Cork City Council is responsible for the health and welfare of the citizens of this city and it should make all efforts and get onto the minister responsible to get funding. How many people will be affected by polluted air in the Mayfield area?
“This is highly dangerous and the North Ring Road is not suitable for this level of traffic. There were plans 30 years ago for a highway out beyond Mayfield and Ballyvolane but that hasn’t happened. In the meantime the citizens of Mayfield are putting up with this serious air pollution,” he added.
City Hall director of environment services Valerie O’Sullivan said Mayfield will be strongly considered if tests prove positive on the trial device.
“We are awaiting a review of the effectiveness of a lower cost monitoring unit at the Kinsale Road Civic amenity site before we commit to extending air monitoring in other parts of the city.
“If this proves itself and it is the best possible mechanism for monitoring air quality, we will prioritise the extension to the Mayfield area,” she added.
UCC opened an air monitoring station on North Mall last summer with gathers information on pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 particles.
It is estimated that air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of more than 1,500 Irish people per year.