High pollution levels revealed

AIR pollution in Lewes is more widespread than was originally feared, says Lewes District Council.

It has found the town's air pollution problem is not limited to Fisher Street, where the ever-present queues of traffic make it the worst hotspot in the district.

It is also an issue in other parts of Lewes town centre.

Tim Bartlett, the district council's principal environmental health officer, told the Express: 'The National Air Quality Objective is 40 micrograms per metre cubed and we are well over that because there is a relatively large amount of traffic.

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'Lewes is a very historic and beautiful town which has narrow streets and steep hills where the cars have to work harder and stop and start in the traffic.

'The pollution doesn't disperse because it's an urban canyon.

'We also carried out more monitoring and found out the air pollution levels are high on Market Street up Westgate Chapel, and the High Street down to Eastgate, basically where the traffic builds up.'

In response to the problem the district council is launching a campaign to people to take part in a Fume-Free Friday event in Lewes on September 19.

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The idea is to encourage people to think about what they can do to reduce the amount of car journeys.

Mr Bartlett said: 'We're not saying to people don't come into Lewes because it's a great place to live and work and a great place to visit.

'But we could all do something to make a real difference.

'We don't want people to give up on their cars but think about how they can use their cars, including a car share, or better still, walk or cycle.'

All primary and secondary schools have been invited to take part in the day and it is hoped parents will reduce the number of cars involved on the school run.

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Environmental group Transition Town Lewes, Lewes Chamber of Commerce and Sussex Police have all been working on the planning of the event.

Lewes residents, businesses and schools are invited to the launch of the Fume-free Friday at Lewes Town Hall on July 16 at 4pm to discuss what they would like to see on the day and how they would like to take part.

To contact the district council's environmental health department call 01273 484345 or email [email protected]