We pointed out in early January that air quality testing had not been carried out in traffic-ridden Plough Lane since 2014. Well, there’s an update: since we brought this situation to the council’s attention, pollution testing has been reinstated!

(Not sure whether it has anything to do with us asking the question, but we feel justified in counting this as a Haydons Road North Community VICTORY! Our first one: rejoice!)

air quality diffusion tube in Plough Lane SW19

The tiny little diffusion tube is attached to a pole close to the Havelock Road junction on Plough Lane if you want to take a look. Keeping an eye on it might be a good idea: if it disappears, let the council (and us) know.

The following written question was put in writing to Merton’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing, at a full council meeting on February 1, 2017:
“I note that air quality monitoring has been suspended in Plough Lane since 2014. When will it be reinstated, and could similar monitoring could be installed in the heavy traffic area of north Haydons Road which is a popular walking route for parents and children of nearby primary schools?”

diffusion tube monitoring air quality in Plough Lane
Merton Council’s reply: The diffusion tube network used to help monitor Nitrogen Dioxide in the borough changes from time to time and these ‘tubes’ are sometimes located in different places to provide additional information or focus on a particular problem area. I am pleased to say that Plough Lane has been reinstated. I note from discussions with officers that diffusion tubes placed at this site have been removed or tampered with in the past, which hasn’t helped with the data collection. The whole issue of monitoring and site selection is currently being discussed by the council’s Sustainable Communities Scrutiny and Overview Panel. One potential outcome from this dialogue is likely to be an enhanced and more robust monitoring network in the future.”