Exhaust fumes ‘killing babies’

Image of Greys Monument with text 'Congratulations to the Evening Chronicle for publishing over 100 articles on air pollution"

“Up to a sixth of cot deaths may be directly attributable to pollutants from vehicle exhaust fumes, it was revealed yesterday” – news article from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

No one who reads this blog should be surprised that pollution can kill or that babies and children are among the worst affected. What might surprise you is that this news article is from 18 May 2004.

This was one of the earliest reports we found in the Evening Chronicle’s electronic archive covering Air Pollution, one of over 100 articles covering air pollution in Newcastle and Tyneside.

The earliest article we found was “Crackdown over air quality to hit drivers” published in March 2004 setting out how “Drivers [were to] face tough new controls to tackle high levels of air pollution on Tyneside caused by traffic fumes”. The article also gives some pollution measurements with the worst being 49μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) at Swan House.

In 2018 the air pollution measurement at Swan House was 60μg/m3,  which is substantially worse. Had the air pollution problem been properly addressed in 2004, or any time since, that might have prevented some of those cot deaths and mean the Council would not now be required to take urgent action.

We would like to express our thanks to the Evening Chronicle and in particular to award winning Local Democracy Reporter Dan Holland for continuing to cover this important local issue.

The full list of articles we found is below. If you spot any that we missed please do let us know so we can add them to the list.

Evening Chronicle Articles on Air Pollution

  1. Huge fall in visitors to Newcastle and 600,000 fewer Metro journeys in coronavirus lockdown 30/3/2020
  2. Coronavirus pandemic could force delay to Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls for high-polluting vehicles 28/3/2020
  3. Fears Newcastle Clean Air Zone plan could be delayed by malfunctioning vehicle checker system 14/2/2020
  4. Council rejects call for ‘no idling zones’ to cut school pollution – because it wants to go further 6/2/2020
  5. Gateshead and North Tyneside Councils back air quality measures 27/1/2020
  6. Shocking research shows one in 26 North East city deaths are linked to air pollution 27/1/2020
  7. Council backs Newcastle Clean Air Zone anti-pollution tolls and restrictions on Tyne Bridge 9/1/2020
  8. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: What you need to do in 2020 to prepare for the anti-pollution tolls 29/12/2019
  9. £50-a-day anti-pollution toll moves closer as top councillors sign off on Newcastle Clean Air Zone 17/12/2019
  10. Majority backing for clean air tolls – but drivers warn of Tyne Bridge ‘chaos’ if lanes are closed 12/12/2019
  11. Worries over pollution danger from Newcastle Christmas markets’ diesel generators 2/12/2019
  12. Final consultation on Clean Air Zone shuts – with anti-pollution plan to be signed off next month 27/11/2019
  13. New tech will cut queues at the Tyne Tunnel by summer 2020 – and help avert a pollution crisis 22/11/2019
  14. New sensors are tracking Newcastle’s air pollution crisis outside these 22 schools 20/11/2019
  15. New list of Newcastle’s most polluted streets revealed – including Strawberry Place and Tyne Bridge 19/11/2019
  16. Just one week left to have your say on Newcastle Clean Air Zone and major Tyne Bridge changes 18/11/2019
  17. How Newcastle’s children could be warned of ‘invisible killer’ air pollution on the school run 1/11/2019
  18. Newcastle city centre car park could disappear under plans for Clean Air Zone lorry delivery hub 26/10/2019
  19. Newcastle clean air tolls: Final chance to have your say as consultation opens on Monday 12/10/2019
  20. Extinction Rebellion: Drivers beep their horns in support ‘gas mask’ protest on the Coast Road 11/10/2019
  21. Extinction Rebellion ‘gas mask’ protest planned for the Coast Road on Friday morning 10/10/2019
  22. Tyneside councils set to miss deadline for cutting air pollution – again 5/10/2019
  23. Public gets another chance to have a say on Newcastle clean air toll as councils vow to listen 17/9/2019
  24. Council leader warns that Newcastle clean air toll ‘falls apart’ if government doesn’t stump up cash 17/9/2019
  25. Extinction Rebellion claim Newcastle City Council’s clean air plans ‘punish poorest’ 13/9/2019
  26. Lib Dems unveil alternative Clean Air Zone plan 12/9/2019
  27. Business leaders react to new clean air toll – months after claims it could be ‘catastrophic’ for city centre 11/9/2019
  28. Council boss predicts Clean Air Zone will stay – and that public will want £50-a-day toll to be even harsher 10/9/2019
  29. Dramatic Tyne Bridge changes unveiled in bid to make driving into Newcastle ‘a lot harder’ 10/9/2019
  30. Gosforth High Street ‘red route’ parking ban back on the table – years after traders’ backlash 9/9/2019
  31. Clean air zone means Newcastle bus fare hike ‘inevitable’, opponents claim 6/9/2019
  32. How plans for clean air toll in Newcastle city centre could affect you 6/9/2019
  33. Revealed: The vehicles that will be hit with daily fees to drive into Newcastle city centre 6/9/2019
  34. Blackett Street ‘dirty air’ warning as shocking daily pollution figures revealed 5/9/2019
  35. Leaders of biggest cities including Newcastle call for Government help to tackle air pollution 2/9/2019
  36. 200 pairs of shoes mark 200 deaths – Extinction Rebellion stage Newcastle protest against killer pollution 1/9/2019
  37. Why Extinction Rebellion’s latest protest includes 200 pairs of shoes on Newcastle streets 30/8/2019
  38. Activists fear Newcastle’s most polluted street could be forgotten in watered-down clean air plan 16/8/2019
  39. Clean air plan splits support as bus companies warn of disproportionate impact 12/8/2019
  40. New clean air toll plan unveiled – and it could save car owners from £12.50 daily charge 9/8/2019
  41. Campaigners call for ‘completely unsafe’ bridge to stay shut after enjoying two pollution-free years 18/7/2019
  42. ‘Financial oblivion’ for families and city centre ‘ghost town’: What you said about clean air tolls 17/7/2019
  43. Council to rethink clean air plans after more than half of drivers object to Tyne Bridge toll 17/7/2019
  44. Deadline for Tyneside councils to decide on controversial clean air toll pushed back AGAIN 12/7/2019
  45. Find out if Tyneside’s pollution crisis is contaminating the air in your own home 10/7/2019
  46. Nick Forbes slams ‘impossible’ government over lack of air pollution crisis talks 28/6/2019
  47. Campaigners call for cars to be completely banned from Newcastle city centre 1 day per week 27/6/2019
  48. On your e-bike! Is this is the answer to Newcastle’s air pollution crisis? 21/6/2019
  49. Electric and environmentally-friendly buses to be introduced in North East after £12m investment 20/6/2019
  50. Commuters urged to ditch cars for Clean Air Day amid Tyneside pollution crisis 14/6/2019
  51. Clean air toll would be ‘catastrophic’ for Newcastle city centre businesses 10/6/2019
  52. Clean air charges: This is how much it could cost YOU to drive into Newcastle city centre 6/6/2019
  53. Campaigners fear return of toxic air crisis at re-opened Killingworth Road 4/6/2019
  54. Tyneside leaders ‘dragging feet’ on air pollution crisis, international charity warns 4/6/2019
  55. Record-breaking response to controversial clean air toll plans 21/5/2019
  56. Your questions on possible clean air toll answered – with just days left to influence the outcome 15/5/2019
  57. Why bus drivers think tolls on three bridges across the River Tyne is a GOOD idea 15/5/2019
  58. ‘Clean Air Coalition’ demands new vision to solve Tyneside’s pollution crisis – on top of the toll 13/5/2019
  59. Deadline nears for Tyneside drivers to have a say on controversial clean air toll 9/5/2019
  60. Ice cream vans banned over environmental concerns 1/5/2019
  61. Top council boss takes aim at North of Tyne mayoral candidates over clean air toll opposition 5/4/2019
  62. Tyneside clean air tolls: Council bosses explain why we can’t avoid them 29/3/2019
  63. North of Tyne Mayor candidates oppose clean air toll plans – as Tory hopeful vows to fight his own Government 28/3/2019
  64. Blue House Roundabout plan on hold due to pollution crisis 28/3/2019
  65. Tyneside councils urged to abandon clean air toll plans – but can alternatives solve pollution crisis? 27/3/2019
  66. Air pollution ‘is a bigger global killer than smoking’ 12/3/2019
  67. Public Health England call for clean air zone style congestion charges to cut pollution levels 11/3/2019
  68. £50-a-day Clean Air Zone charge could cause £140m damage to North East economy 27/2/2019
  69. Mapped: The worst places for air pollution in Newcastle and the North East 27/2/2019
  70. Clean air toll could put these two bridges at centre of Tyneside’s pollution and traffic crisis 26/2/2019
  71. Councils press ahead with bridges toll or ‘clean air zone’ plans amid pollution ‘catastrophe’ 26/2/2019
  72. Could millions raised through clean air toll be spent on repainting the Tyne Bridge? 22/1/2019
  73. Demolishing the Gateshead Flyover, cutting access to Central Motorway and other ideas to clean up Tyneside’s air 21/2/2019
  74. Government threatened Tyneside councils with legal action over clean air toll plans 20/2/2019
  75. Taxi drivers label bridges toll plan ‘ridiculous’ as Tyneside reacts to controversial clean air charges 20/2/2019
  76. ‘It’s purely a money-making exercise’ – motorists divided over plan to charge drivers to cross three Tyne bridges 19/2/2019
  77. Drivers could be charged to cross three Tyne bridges under plan to end pollution ‘crisis’ 18/2/2019
  78. Tyne bridges toll or Clean Air Zone: Everything you need to know about new charges on our roads 18/2/2019
  79. Pollution charge may be brought to Newcastle and Gateshead BBC 18/2/2019
  80. Polluting log burner fires will be banned under government clean air drive 16/2/2019
  81. North East to get nine ultra-modern electric buses after winning £1.6m funding bid from Government 8/2/2019
  82. Polluting log burner fires will be banned under government clean air drive 14/1/2019
  83. ‘Totally clueless’ Rival councillors clash in fiery debate on the future of Newcastle’s transport system 10/1/2019
  84. Council comes under fire for scrapping plans to boost cycling in Newcastle 10/1/2019
  85. ‘Abject failure and political cop-out’ – fury as drivers could face ‘toxin tax’ 9/1/2019
  86. Tyneside drivers could be hit with ‘toxin tax’ – here’s what it means for you 8/1/2019
  87. Drivers could face new charge for high polluting vehicles – but it won’t be enough to tackle emissions crisis 8/1/2019
  88. The 10 most polluted streets in Newcastle have been revealed 5/1/2019
  89. Taxi drivers call for clean air toll plans for Newcastle roads to be scrapped 13/12/2018
  90. Councils’ plans over possible clean air toll will reach government before 2019 22/12/2018
  91. Newcastle City Council reveals when a possible charge for driving in the city centre could come in 6/12/2018
  92. This letter has drivers fearing Newcastle is set to introduce a ‘congestion charge’ 5/12/2018
  93. Congestion charges for cars could happen if the bus company behind Go North East gets its way 12/11/2018
  94. Tyne Bridge toll ruled out in Newcastle Council’s bid to tackle air pollution 2/11/2018
  95. Could Newcastle parents soon be fined for leaving their engine running outside school gates? 30/10/2018
  96. Stagecoach urges politicians to ‘think bus’ to beat congestion and pollution [Advertorial] 23/10/2018
  97. Council urged to take ‘real action’ on Newcastle’s air pollution instead of asking Theresa May 30/8/2018
  98. Nick Forbes and UK city bosses urge Theresa May to tackle air pollution ‘crisis’ 28/8/2018
  99. Tyne Bridge toll: The alternative options council bosses could look at to tackle air pollution 3/8/2018
  100. Government ‘guilty of negligence over air pollution in Newcastle and Gateshead’, says council leader 18/7/2018
  101. Tyne Bridge toll fears as councils still haven’t published plan on air pollution 19/7/2018
  102. How polluted is the North East? UK cities – including Newcastle and Sunderland – ranked 2/5/2018
  103. Arriva deny North East air quality accusation after moving eco-buses to Leeds 26/3/2018
  104. The North East’s most polluted roads which breach legal levels are revealed 26/7/2018
  105. Students won’t be able to open windows at Newcastle towers blocks – because it’s too polluted 5/7/2018
  106. New petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 – but is that too long to wait? 2/6/2018
  107. High Level Bridge earmarked as part of cycle route improvement plan between Newcastle and Gateshead 3/4/2018
  108. Have you seen that ‘tree’ sculpture in Newcastle city centre? It could improve your quality of life 16/3/2018
  109. The smog on the Tyne is all mine – What Newcastle community is doing in fight against pollution 13/9/2017
  110. Potential Tyne Bridge toll branded ‘stupid’ and a ‘ransom’ for drivers 10/8/2017
  111. Tyne Bridge toll: How much could it cost and how might it work? 8/8/2017
  112. Fears Tyne Bridge could be hit with toll as council accused of dragging feet over air pollution 7/8/2017
  113. Bus bosses want to charge you for driving your car in Newcastle – what do you think? 17/5/2017
  114. Drivers who use diesel cars could soon be hit with a £20 A DAY ‘toxin tax’ 2/4/2017
  115. Newcastle has some of the worst air pollution in the UK – so why do so few people care? 5/3/2017
  116. Think the air around Newcastle is a tad dirty? You’re not alone – just ask the EU  15/2/2017
  117. Plan for North East congestion charge of £12.50 a day to cut air pollution 19/12/2016
  118. Inquiry reveals fears about air pollution and urges Government to invest in Nissan electric vehicles 2/9/2016
  119. Recent car tests reveal level of average emissions up to 5 times higher than recommended 26/4/2016
  120. Should diesel car drivers pay an extra £800 in tax? 18/3/2016
  121. West Road in Newcastle has ‘illegal’ levels of air pollution, Government data shows 19/11/2015
  122. Tyne and Wear Transport Users Group stage Newcastle city centre protest 16/7/2015
  123. Gosforth High Street in line for major shake-up as council reveals revamp plans 5/7/2015
  124. North East toxic smog: Everything you need to know as plume of air arrives in UK 19/3/2015
  125. Newcastle University say traffic pollution could be up to 60% worse than thought 15/12/2014
  126. Keep schools away from main roads to prevent hundreds of deaths, say MPs 8/12/2014
  127. New ‘app’ which can change traffic lights from green to red trialled in the North East 20/10/2014
  128. Air quality fear backs council plan for Gosforth High Street 28/2/2014
  129. 20mph plan to cut down on pollution 28/2/2013
  130. Plans to revamp Gosforth’s roads unveiled 27/2/2013
  131. Green space a breath of fresh air for the city 13/10/2008
  132. Just who are the Smoggies? 5/8/2006
  133. Exhaust fumes ‘killing babies’ 18/5/2004
  134. Crackdown over air quality to hit drivers 5/3/2004

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