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TRAFFIC POLLUTION - GREENWICH SEVEN GRANTED JUDICIAL REVIEW

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Case no: CO/3160/95 ...
Case no: CO/3160/95

Seven children were given the go-ahead by a high court judge today to challenge Greenwich LBC's decision not to close roads to traffic to ease pollution.

Mr Justice Popplewell gave the seven leave to seek judicial review of the decision of the council not to close the road outside their homes during times of extremely high pollution.

Backed by their parents, the seven children who suffer from asthma problems have been granted legal aid to take their test case fight over air quality conditions to court.

Their counsel, Graham Read, said the council were 'not unsympathetic to the concerns of the parents'.

But in their view the council had misdirected itself in law when deciding in June not to close Trafalgar Road when pollution from car exhausts reached unacceptable levels.

They will seek a declaration at the main hearing that under the 1984 Road Traffic Regulations, the council had to take into account the dangers to residents from air pollution.

The judge posed the question that shutting the road to traffic would only move the problem to another street whose residents would then complain and soon Greenwich would become a 'traffic free zone'.

He added: 'Westminster then gets all Greenwich's traffic. Where does it end?'

But he granted leave after deciding the matter was 'just about capable of being argued'.

Martyn Day, solicitor for the children, said it was the very first time that the question of air quality for asthma sufferers was to be considered by the court.

If Greenwich is forced to close certain roads then it could force other councils to follow suit.

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