The first Valley Hill Hub air survey has revealed illegal levels of air pollution at three sites around the Valley Hill Hub area including outside a local primary school writes Andrew Donkin.

Last autumn, thirteen air pollution monitors were placed at locations in and around the Valley Hill Hub area.  After recording data for a month, they were collected and sent off for professional analysis. It will come as no surprise to local residents that readings indicated illegal levels of air pollution at several local sites.

The permitted upper legal limit is 40 micro-grammes m3 of NO2 for outdoor ambient air pollution monitored constantly over a year.  This month long survey gives a quick, but reliable snapshot of the air pollution the month it was monitored.

The air monitor located at the Charlton Lane bus stop (heading west on Woolwich Road) recorded the highest reading at 77.50m3.  While local parents with children at Windrush Primary School will be alarmed to discover the air pollution at the Windrush Primary School gates on Woolwich Road was a dangerously high 70.22m3.

The third highest reading, and again well over the legal limit, was obtained at the bus stop opposite the White Swan in Charlton Village, a location that gave a reading of 49.50m3.

Two other places within Valley Hill Hub produced worrying readings, the bus stop at the end of Kinveachey Gardens recorded as 38.18m3 and the roundabout at the top of Thorntree Hill as 36.52m3.   The lowest reading was  22.82m3 which was the very middle of Maryon Wilson Park.  See below for a full table of readings and locations.

With so many traffic generating projects likely to happen in the near future (Ikea opening, Silvertown tunnel, a cruise ship terminal, and thousands of new homes on Charlton Riverside) one can only imagine that air quality in Charlton will get progressively worse.

Andrew Wood, Project Co-ordinator Network for Clean Air examined our results and said:

The air pollution monitoring done by Valley Hill Hub showed levels of air pollution much higher than the annual permitted legal limit beside Windrush Primary School on the Woolwich Road, and near the limit at Kinveachey Gardens tooThe local authority should undertake continuous monitoring at these sites, and action is needed to reduce emissions from buses and traffic. Greater priority is needed for cycling and traffic reduction in the Charlton area.”

Andrew Wood was especially concerned with the results near Windrush Primary School adding “Air pollution is associated with permanently reduced lung function in children and ill health. There are at least 4,300 premature deaths in London were due to long-term exposure to small particles (PM2.5) and thousands more due to other air pollution.”

Local MP Matthew Pennycook commented:

The results of the Valley Hill Hub monitor project are extremely concerning. They provide yet more evidence of what is beyond doubt a public health crisis. No one is immune from the impact of toxins present in the air we breathe, but air pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable among us including young children attending Pound Park Nursery, Thorntree Primary School and Windrush Primary School. We need leadership at all levels if we’re to reduce pollution and improve air quality across London“.


Location M3 Bias Adjusted
Kinveachey Gardens Bus Stop 38.18
Middle of Maryon Park 22.82
Thorntree School 28.88
Pound Park Nursery 31.20
Charlton Lane level crossing 33.36
Harvey Gardens 29.63
Coxmount Road 29.29
Lansdown Mews 29.71
Wolf Crescent 28.88
Thorntree Roundabout 36.52
Charlton Village Bus Stop 49.47
Woolwich Road Bus Stop (Charlton Lane) 77.52
Windrush Primary School, Woolwich Road 70.22


Technical stuff and thanks: 

This is the first Valley Hill Hub air pollution survey. It was completed in October/November 2017 with £120 funding from the Charlton ward budget scheme.  We are aiming for this to be an annual survey carried out in October/November each year.  We already have funding from the ward budget (thank you) for the 2018 survey.

The air survey was completed by Hub co-ordinators Andrew Donkin and Paul Chapman between mid-October and mid-November 2017.  Exposure time for the monitors was approx 670 hours.

Science advice and monitors were sourced from Andrew Wood, Project Co-ordinator Network for Clean Air.  Find him on the web at  Air Monitors cost around £10 each including professional lab analysis of the results.

Valley Hill Hub SE7 is a digital community hub created to serve a small area of Charlton. It covers a diamond shape as defined by Charlton Lane (as far as the roundabout), Thorntree Road, and Pound Park Road. The roads inside include: Coxmount Road, Hasted Road, and Wolf Crescent.  If you are in our Hub area please email and join up.


Add yours

  1. I think pollution levels will be very high in areas of Charlton not covered by your survey. Am I wrong in thinking that RBG are responsible for monitoring the whole of the Borough for pollution levels, particularly before handing out planning permission for commercial and private development. I apologise if you have received this comment twice.


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