Questions hang in air over pollution on Cranford St

Concerns are mounting over air pollution once the Christchurch Northern Corridor opens.

The Northern Corridor is predicted to cause a 30 per cent increase in traffic to the St Albans area. The Papanui-Innes Community Board has written to Environment Canterbury asking whether its current monitoring station in Coles Pl can reliably capture accurate data of air quality on Cranford St, especially at the northern end.

The board believes it is essential to capture air quality baseline data now so comparisons can be made when the Northern Corridor opens.

Data currently available from the ECan monitoring station shows gases and particles are below the national guideline levels. However, the community board has concerns that the distance from Coles Pl could be too far to obtain accurate data. If that is the case, the board requested monitoring be carried out at the Cranford St and Innes Rd intersection this winter.

Said an ECan spokeswoman: “It is worth noting that ECan currently monitors air quality on Riccarton Rd, which is one of Christchurch’s busiest and most congested roads. Readings are all within Government health-based guidelines.”

“ECan endeavours to conduct temporary monitoring in areas of significant community concern but our resources are limited so each request is considered carefully,” she said.

Cranford St resident Clinton Minchington wrote to the community board with concerns the surrounding area could become “heavily polluted” when the Northern Corridor opens.

He also said the current ‘have your say’ consultation document for proposed changes to Cranford St and the surrounding area contains no mention of air quality or mitigation of adverse effects for residents most affected. “How can you build a project of this magnitude and not have a health and safety plan for residents?” he said.

Community board chairwoman Ali Jones said there is interest in gaining the data so there is something to measure against, mainly around the McFaddens Rd area.

“It’s that McFaddens Rd sort of area that we need to just check
. . . that’s where the major increase in traffic is going to be. Also, I think we are limited in what we can ask for measurements on; it’s a really long road. But we are just waiting to see what ECan comes back with.”

Ms Jones said the board has not received a response from ECan yet.

•Have your say: Are you concerned about air pollution in the St Albans area? Do you think it will get worse once the Northern Corridor opens? Email your views to