Saturday 26 March 2016

Tox boxes?

Here's a look at the proposals for the development of the weedy vacant site at the north end of Stoke town, between the former Irish Centre and the A500. The site is to be home to high-rise student flats serving the expanded Staffordshire University. I generally welcome this development, and the expansion of the university.

But I'd question the wisdom of the positioning of some of those balconies and windows, on health grounds. Many appear to be perched directly above the A500, one of our most heavily trafficked roads. Are we really happy to allow young people to live directly above the A500, seemingly without even the benefit of its concrete noise barrier? Especially given what we know about dangerous particulate pollution from diesel engines, and the fumes arising from the city's rapidly rising traffic congestion?

If I were living above the A500 like that, in a small difficult-to-ventilate flat, I might be very wary of opening the windows or sitting out on the balcony. Certainly not without first donning a Chinese-style smog-mask, and turning on a Maplins' gadget that would warn me of high levels of nitrogen dioxide and other toxic nasties.

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