For the best part of ten years, NENG has contributed to the EEQL database on air pollution caused by traffic throughout Sheffield. The project was originally set up in Tinsley because of the effect of traffic pollution on the local population due to traffic fumes from the M1. It continues to be active on this issue (cf the new IKEA store). The project has grown to embrace the issue of traffic air pollution throughout Sheffield. While the levels of pollution in Nether Edge are consistently below EU acceptable levels, nearby adjacent areas such as the Abbeydale corridor are not. Objectors' successful challenge to Sainsbury's proposed expansion of their store in Archer Lane was achieved because of the levels of air pollution identified by the EEQL project. Nether Edge is therefore more of a control area for other areas which have major problems. Having said that, there is no safe level of air pollution and although there is an EU acceptable level, research has demonstrated that there is still health effects on children and adults below that EU level.
Monitoring air pollution is achieved through the medium of measuring levels of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. This acts as a proxy for more dangerous pollutants which are also emitted from vehicle exhausts. Measurement is achieved by using a small piece of fabric contained in a small open texture which absorbs Nitrogen Dioxide. The test tubes are mounted on a vertical surface and are changed once a month. There are currently 5 sites/ test tubes in Nether Edge located in Junction Road, Psalter Lane, Montgomery Road, Osborne Road and Nether Edge shops.
Click here for a link to the latest Nether Edge EEQL monitoring site and here for the Abbeydale Road Corridor results.