Pollution – For how long is Liverpool destined to be excluded from EU sulphur emission rules?

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/08/15/sulphur-limits-for-fuel-used-by-ships-in-the-irish-sea/

Some time ago, with the help of a local environmental campaigner, I published the posting above. Now moving on to the present day an article appeared in the Times newspaper on 16th February under the heading ‘£300m port aims to revive Liverpool’s glory days‘.

Seaforth Docks and hinterland

Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The article was all about the new river berth and the ability of the Port of Liverpool to be able to take the Post-Panamax size container ships. Of course this impacts on the ability of the road and rail infrastructure to and from Bootle/Seaforth to be able to cope with what will undoubtedly be increased traffic to and from the Port. More diesel trucks and indeed diesel trains can only increase air pollution and particulates in and around the docks and I have also commented on this aspect of the revitalisation of the docks previously.

Anyway, back to the Times article because buried in the middle of it is this:- ‘Liverpool is allowed to handle older, dirtier big boats because Britain’s west coast ports are not covered by the EU’s sulphur emissions rules that prevent such vessels going into other European ports’.

So there you have it, a worrying scenario indeed and it clearly begs the question, how long will it be before Britain’s west coast ports are included in the emission rules? Frankly, from my perspective, for any ports to be excluded is unacceptable. Please don’t hang the success of our local economic prosperity on us having lower environmental standards.

Deadly diesel – Air pollution – Diesel Particulates

This posting is very much based on information supplied to me by a Lydiate resident but it is a subject close to my heart on which I have posted a number of times previously via this site. My last posting is accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/29/new-pollution-charges-for-diesel-drivers/

Page 11 of today’s Sunday Times refers to the 2001 decision to reduce tax on diesel vehicles under the heading ‘Labour admits tax blunder on deadly diesel’.

images

There is also Channel 4 Dispatches programme tomorrow at 8pm “The great car con”

Bootle Councillor Ian Maher talked about the deplorable death rates of Bootle residents during the often fractious debate at Sefton Council last Thursday about the Borough’s draft Local Plan and he was right to do so.

60,000 deaths a year in the UK are now being blamed on diesel exhaust emissions, I am told.

Although it’s cars, vans and taxis referred to in the Times, it should be remembered the high numbers of HGV’s travelling though Bootle each day to the Port of Liverpool. And of course the new Post Panamax traffic will add to this.

Although Sefton Medical authorities point to smoking as a cause of high rates of cancer in Bootle, an article read by the resident who provide this information to me, from university studies into diesel exhausts claims that diesel emissions can be masked by smoking.

Another study, so I am told, also points to HGV’s having their exhaust particulate filters removed. The resident speculates that perhaps HGV vehicles should have their exhaust emissions checked on entry to the port. Any vehicles found exceeding limits could lead to a fine/ban on owners.

There are some interesting and worrying issues here that fit with my own concerns based on things I have read. Indeed, I also recall some years ago that Merseytravel (the passenger transport authority for Merseyside) was considering a project to have diesel particulate filters added to the bus fleets operating across Merseyside. If memory serves correctly the bus companies were then resistant to the project because the filters increased diesel consumption.

I don’t claim to any kind of an expert of this matter but I have seen and heard enough to think that a significant public debate needs to had into the effects of diesel pollution and how the public can be protected from it.