Marlow’s pollution problem

Marlow town centre has a serious air pollution problem. Based on monthly averaged (non-continuous) measurements, the nitrogen dioxide concentrations are above legal levels. Fine particulates (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are likely to be high as well, except these are not (yet) measured. Nitrogen dioxide is a harmful air pollutant, produced mainly by road traffic. Based on national statistics, on average 9 people in Marlow die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution. And we all pay for the estimated £20bn in national healthcare costs.

In December 2017 Wycombe District Council declared the centre of Marlow as an “Air Quality Management Area” or AQMA, as per the map below. During 2018 the council developed an action plan to address this challenge. Transition Town Marlow was part of the steering group for this action plan and is continuing to engage with all councils to push for steps to really improve the air we breathe every day.

How can you help?

  1. Walk or cycle instead of taking the car, especially for short journeys into town.
  2. Use public transport where possible. If you must drive, try to lift share.
  3. Do not leave your engine idling unnecessarily. Not only is this harmful, but it is also in breach of rule 123 of the Highway Code and you may get fined!
  4. When you next change your car, consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regular hybrid. And definitely, check the advertised MPG/emissions against the real world values.

Have you got questions or other ideas? Please get in touch.