This episode of Week In Week Out delves into air and noise pollution caused by traffic, focussing in on one particular street in Crumlin before taking a wider look at pollution hot-spots in Swansea and around South Wales.
Whilst it is heartening to see more attention paid to the effects of air and noise pollution, particularly on children and older people, it’s hard to escape the feeling that nobody is really prepared to tackle the problem.
It appears that councils are largely indifferent to it, not that they are held to particularly high standards anyway and are only expected to produce an action plan. Swansea for example seems happy to just try to move the problem (the traffic) elsewhere, not fix the problem at its source. However, people are also failing to make the connection between their own behaviour and the pollution created by it.
Meanwhile, there are people who feel trapped in their own homes; children whose lungs are failing to develop and councils contemplating the option of purchasing homes on these polluted, noisy streets just to knock them down.
We find the whole situation very depressing. People can see that there is a problem, but we humans are absolutely useless at seeing beyond the immediate future, particularly if we don’t think it is going to affect us directly.
The thing is, it is going to affect us all whether we live on a polluted street or not. There’s only so much money available to the NHS and the social care system and right now it looks like we are going to spend much of it just dealing with the consequences of motoring and indifference, for crying out loud.
Why not watch the episode yourself and let us know what you thought of it in the comments. It should be available for another 11 months (until February 2018 ish).