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. Newcastle Clean Air Zone upgrade cash to be offered to more people – but limits remain on £15m fund 29/2/2024
  2. Newcastle Clean Air Zone generates more than £2 million from tolls and fines in first year 30/1/2024
  3. Call to drop diesel generators at Newcastle Christmas market as mayor hopeful issues pollution plea 9/1/2024
  4. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Upgrade cash rules to change after drivers struggle to get grants 30/11/2023
  5. Tory mayoral candidate wants to scrap Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls – but councils insist he can’t 28/11/2023
  6. More than £13m of Newcastle Clean Air Zone’s vehicle upgrade money still unspent after a year 9/11/2023
  7. Van driver warns motorists to beware of online Newcastle Clean Air Zone payment scams 7/11/2023
  8. Have your say on whether charities should be exempt from Clean Air Zone charges in Newcastle City Centre 8/10/2023
  9. Motorists warned against paying Newcastle Clean Air Zone charges on unofficial websites 28/9/2023
  10. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Daily £12.50 tolls for high-polluting vans start on Monday 16/7/2023
  11. Driving laws and other changes for motorists coming in July – including Newcastle Clean Air Zone 3/7/2023
  12. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Van drivers urged to prepare for tolls as report reveals grant funding latest 30/6/2023
  13. Newcastle Clean Air Zone text scam warning after drivers get hoax message asking for toll payment 28/6/2023
  14. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Accusation of ‘secret plan’ to put new toll on car drivers branded ‘scaremongering’ 16/6/2023
  15. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Coach firm’s anger over ‘crazy’ restrictions on vehicle upgrade grants 27/5/2023
  16. Newcastle Clean Air Zone July date confirmed for start of £12.50 daily tolls for vans 15/5/2023
  17. Only 52 vehicle upgrade grants issued through Newcastle Clean Air Zone — despite almost 3,000 applications 21/4/2023
  18. ‘We are getting no help at all’: South Tyneside taxi drivers’ anger over Newcastle Clean Air Zone 4/3/2023
  19. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Have your say as city centre drivers face new daily tolls of up to £50 5/2/2023
  20. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Full list of local and national exemptions and how to apply 1/2/2023
  21. Map of Newcastle Clean Air Zone as it comes into effect 1/2/2023
  22. Worries that Newcastle Clean Air Zone will push pollution towards homes near A1 31/1/2023
  23. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Tyneside reacts as city centre pollution tolls finally come into force 31/1/2023
  24. Pollution expert’s warning over ‘invisible killer’ as Newcastle prepares for Clean Air Zone tolls 27/1/2023
  25. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: One week to go until city centre pollution tolls are launched 25/1/2023
  26. Who has to pay Clean Air Zone charge to drive in Newcastle from January and July 2023
  27. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: What you need to know about new pollution tolls before January 30
  28. Newcastle Clean Air Zone confusion worries as car drivers assume they will be hit by pollution tolls
  29. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: Cash grants of up to £16,000 to help drivers dodge pollution tolls
  30. Newcastle’s most polluted streets revealed – as Coast Road junction named as worst emissions hotspot
  31. Newcastle Clean Air Zone charge will apply to four bridges over the Tyne
  32. Car drivers could eventually be charged Newcastle Clean Air Zone toll fee
  33. Easy way to check if you have to pay Newcastle Clean Air Zone charge
  34. Newcastle Clean Air Zone explained: Where it is, when tolls start, and who has to pay 5/10/2022
  35. Newcastle Clean Air Zone cameras switched on – but signs are ‘confusing’ for drivers 3/10/2022
  36. Government approves plan to delay Newcastle Clean Air Zone pollution tolls until 2023 18/9/2022
  37. Councils back delay of Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls to 2023 – but government must still approve 19/7/2022
  38. New date for Newcastle Clean Air Zone – with tolls for high-polluting vehicles on hold until 2023 9/7/2022
  39. Dropping £50-a-day tolls for Newcastle Clean Air Zone ‘too good to be true’, says council leader 8/6/2022
  40. Delay to Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls was inevitable – but the pollution crisis isn’t going away 14/5/2022
  41. Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls postponed as businesses express ‘huge relief’ at delay to £50-a-day pollution charge  12/5/2022
  42. Newcastle named ‘worst city in Europe’ for air pollution in March, but council claims data ‘skewed’ 22/4/2022
  43. Councils ‘in discussions’ over Newcastle Clean Air Zone start date, as another city delays pollution tolls 1/4/2022
  44. Fears of ‘misery and hardship’ from Newcastle Clean Air Zone – but no plans to delays tolls yet 22/2/2022
  45. ‘Urgent’ answers needed with no grants on offer to help people avoid Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls 16/2/2022
  46. Newcastle parents urged to ‘protect children’ by not driving to school 7/2/2022
  47. Latest on £50-a-day Newcastle clean air toll as Manchester puts charges under review after backlash 7/1/2022
  48. Pollution fear for Newcastle’s outer west if traffic pushed towards A1 to avoid Clean Air Zone tolls 11/10/2021
  49. Heated clash as £50-a-day Newcastle Clean Air Zone pollution tolls plan branded ‘big failure’ 21/9/2021
  50. Lib Dems brand Newcastle pollution tolls ‘a fudge’ that won’t cut Tyneside’s reliance on cars 17/9/2021
  51. ‘Quantum leap’ needed in attitudes to cars says Gateshead Council boss ahead of air quality changes 15/9/2021
  52. Council pledges not to move Central Station taxi rank until noise and pollution worries resolved 11/9/2021
  53. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: What you need to know about city centre pollution toll plans 10/9/2021
  54. Plan to half number of lanes on Tyne Bridge scrapped as Clean Air Zone tolls delayed to 2022 16/7/2021
  55. Government ‘utterly ignoring’ funding pleas to help people avoid £50-a-day Newcastle clean air tolls 25/6/2021
  56. Angry council slams ‘completely unreliable’ claim that Newcastle is second most polluted city in Europe 18/6/2021
  57. When will Newcastle pollution tolls start? Clean Air Zone latest as Birmingham launches road charges 4/6/2021
  58. Lockdown pollution drop won’t put an end to £50-a-day Newcastle clean air tolls, transport boss says 1/3/2021
  59. Councils claim victory in Newcastle Clean Air Zone court case that delayed £50 a day pollution tolls 20/11/2020
  60. Drastic plans to cut traffic lanes on Tyne Bridge put on hold after delay to Clean Air Zone tolls 26/10/2020
  61. Newcastle clean air tolls now set for ‘later in 2021’ as council accused of bungling pollution plans 26/10/2020
  62. £50-a-day Newcastle clean air tolls will NOT happen in January as council finally confirms delay 22/10/2020
  63. Urgent call for answers on whether £50-a-day Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls will happen in January 30/9/2020
  64. Experts warn Newcastle traffic and air pollution ‘back to pre-Covid levels’ – and could get worse 9/9/2020
  65. Newcastle Clean Air Zone in doubt as cities shelve anti-pollution tolls due to Covid-19 impact 28/8/2020
  66. Neighbours fear noise and pollution misery if Central Station taxi rank moved outside their windows 8/7/2020
  67. How a month of lockdown has impacted Newcastle’s air pollution – as traffic levels are cut in half 23/4/2020
  68. Newcastle’s busiest roads could be set for safety changes during coronavirus lockdown 21/4/2020
  69. Buses chief fears ‘disastrous’ consequences for Newcastle Clean Air Zone plans over cash shortage 11/4/2020
  70. Major doubts over Newcastle Clean Air Zone as leaders warn cash offer falls ‘significantly’ short 8/4/2020
  71. Huge fall in visitors to Newcastle and 600,000 fewer Metro journeys in coronavirus lockdown 30/3/2020
  72. Coronavirus pandemic could force delay to Newcastle Clean Air Zone tolls for high-polluting vehicles 28/3/2020
  73. Fears Newcastle Clean Air Zone plan could be delayed by malfunctioning vehicle checker system 14/2/2020
  74. Council rejects call for ‘no idling zones’ to cut school pollution – because it wants to go further 6/2/2020
  75. Gateshead and North Tyneside Councils back air quality measures 27/1/2020
  76. Shocking research shows one in 26 North East city deaths are linked to air pollution 27/1/2020
  77. Council backs Newcastle Clean Air Zone anti-pollution tolls and restrictions on Tyne Bridge 9/1/2020
  78. Newcastle Clean Air Zone: What you need to do in 2020 to prepare for the anti-pollution tolls 29/12/2019
  79. £50-a-day anti-pollution toll moves closer as top councillors sign off on Newcastle Clean Air Zone 17/12/2019
  80. Majority backing for clean air tolls – but drivers warn of Tyne Bridge ‘chaos’ if lanes are closed 12/12/2019
  81. Worries over pollution danger from Newcastle Christmas markets’ diesel generators 2/12/2019
  82. Final consultation on Clean Air Zone shuts – with anti-pollution plan to be signed off next month 27/11/2019
  83. New tech will cut queues at the Tyne Tunnel by summer 2020 – and help avert a pollution crisis 22/11/2019
  84. New sensors are tracking Newcastle’s air pollution crisis outside these 22 schools 20/11/2019
  85. New list of Newcastle’s most polluted streets revealed – including Strawberry Place and Tyne Bridge 19/11/2019
  86. Just one week left to have your say on Newcastle Clean Air Zone and major Tyne Bridge changes 18/11/2019
  87. How Newcastle’s children could be warned of ‘invisible killer’ air pollution on the school run 1/11/2019
  88. Newcastle city centre car park could disappear under plans for Clean Air Zone lorry delivery hub 26/10/2019
  89. Newcastle clean air tolls: Final chance to have your say as consultation opens on Monday 12/10/2019
  90. Extinction Rebellion: Drivers beep their horns in support ‘gas mask’ protest on the Coast Road 11/10/2019
  91. Extinction Rebellion ‘gas mask’ protest planned for the Coast Road on Friday morning 10/10/2019
  92. Tyneside councils set to miss deadline for cutting air pollution – again 5/10/2019
  93. Public gets another chance to have a say on Newcastle clean air toll as councils vow to listen 17/9/2019
  94. Council leader warns that Newcastle clean air toll ‘falls apart’ if government doesn’t stump up cash 17/9/2019
  95. Extinction Rebellion claim Newcastle City Council’s clean air plans ‘punish poorest’ 13/9/2019
  96. Lib Dems unveil alternative Clean Air Zone plan 12/9/2019
  97. Business leaders react to new clean air toll – months after claims it could be ‘catastrophic’ for city centre 11/9/2019
  98. Council boss predicts Clean Air Zone will stay – and that public will want £50-a-day toll to be even harsher 10/9/2019
  99. Dramatic Tyne Bridge changes unveiled in bid to make driving into Newcastle ‘a lot harder’ 10/9/2019
  100. Gosforth High Street ‘red route’ parking ban back on the table – years after traders’ backlash 9/9/2019
  101. Clean air zone means Newcastle bus fare hike ‘inevitable’, opponents claim 6/9/2019
  102. How plans for clean air toll in Newcastle city centre could affect you 6/9/2019
  103. Revealed: The vehicles that will be hit with daily fees to drive into Newcastle city centre 6/9/2019
  104. Blackett Street ‘dirty air’ warning as shocking daily pollution figures revealed 5/9/2019
  105. Leaders of biggest cities including Newcastle call for Government help to tackle air pollution 2/9/2019
  106. 200 pairs of shoes mark 200 deaths – Extinction Rebellion stage Newcastle protest against killer pollution 1/9/2019
  107. Why Extinction Rebellion’s latest protest includes 200 pairs of shoes on Newcastle streets 30/8/2019
  108. Activists fear Newcastle’s most polluted street could be forgotten in watered-down clean air plan 16/8/2019
  109. Clean air plan splits support as bus companies warn of disproportionate impact 12/8/2019
  110. New clean air toll plan unveiled – and it could save car owners from £12.50 daily charge 9/8/2019
  111. Campaigners call for ‘completely unsafe’ bridge to stay shut after enjoying two pollution-free years 18/7/2019
  112. ‘Financial oblivion’ for families and city centre ‘ghost town’: What you said about clean air tolls 17/7/2019
  113. Council to rethink clean air plans after more than half of drivers object to Tyne Bridge toll 17/7/2019
  114. Deadline for Tyneside councils to decide on controversial clean air toll pushed back AGAIN 12/7/2019
  115. Find out if Tyneside’s pollution crisis is contaminating the air in your own home 10/7/2019
  116. Nick Forbes slams ‘impossible’ government over lack of air pollution crisis talks 28/6/2019
  117. Campaigners call for cars to be completely banned from Newcastle city centre 1 day per week 27/6/2019
  118. On your e-bike! Is this is the answer to Newcastle’s air pollution crisis? 21/6/2019
  119. Electric and environmentally-friendly buses to be introduced in North East after £12m investment 20/6/2019
  120. Commuters urged to ditch cars for Clean Air Day amid Tyneside pollution crisis 14/6/2019
  121. Clean air toll would be ‘catastrophic’ for Newcastle city centre businesses 10/6/2019
  122. Clean air charges: This is how much it could cost YOU to drive into Newcastle city centre 6/6/2019
  123. Campaigners fear return of toxic air crisis at re-opened Killingworth Road 4/6/2019
  124. Tyneside leaders ‘dragging feet’ on air pollution crisis, international charity warns 4/6/2019
  125. Record-breaking response to controversial clean air toll plans 21/5/2019
  126. Your questions on possible clean air toll answered – with just days left to influence the outcome 15/5/2019
  127. Why bus drivers think tolls on three bridges across the River Tyne is a GOOD idea 15/5/2019
  128. ‘Clean Air Coalition’ demands new vision to solve Tyneside’s pollution crisis – on top of the toll 13/5/2019
  129. Deadline nears for Tyneside drivers to have a say on controversial clean air toll 9/5/2019
  130. Ice cream vans banned over environmental concerns 1/5/2019
  131. Top council boss takes aim at North of Tyne mayoral candidates over clean air toll opposition 5/4/2019
  132. Tyneside clean air tolls: Council bosses explain why we can’t avoid them 29/3/2019
  133. North of Tyne Mayor candidates oppose clean air toll plans – as Tory hopeful vows to fight his own Government 28/3/2019
  134. Blue House Roundabout plan on hold due to pollution crisis 28/3/2019
  135. Tyneside councils urged to abandon clean air toll plans – but can alternatives solve pollution crisis? 27/3/2019
  136. Air pollution ‘is a bigger global killer than smoking’ 12/3/2019
  137. Public Health England call for clean air zone style congestion charges to cut pollution levels 11/3/2019
  138. £50-a-day Clean Air Zone charge could cause £140m damage to North East economy 27/2/2019
  139. Mapped: The worst places for air pollution in Newcastle and the North East 27/2/2019
  140. Clean air toll could put these two bridges at centre of Tyneside’s pollution and traffic crisis 26/2/2019
  141. Councils press ahead with bridges toll or ‘clean air zone’ plans amid pollution ‘catastrophe’ 26/2/2019
  142. Could millions raised through clean air toll be spent on repainting the Tyne Bridge? 22/1/2019
  143. Demolishing the Gateshead Flyover, cutting access to Central Motorway and other ideas to clean up Tyneside’s air 21/2/2019
  144. Government threatened Tyneside councils with legal action over clean air toll plans 20/2/2019
  145. Taxi drivers label bridges toll plan ‘ridiculous’ as Tyneside reacts to controversial clean air charges 20/2/2019
  146. ‘It’s purely a money-making exercise’ – motorists divided over plan to charge drivers to cross three Tyne bridges 19/2/2019
  147. Drivers could be charged to cross three Tyne bridges under plan to end pollution ‘crisis’ 18/2/2019
  148. Tyne bridges toll or Clean Air Zone: Everything you need to know about new charges on our roads 18/2/2019
  149. Pollution charge may be brought to Newcastle and Gateshead BBC 18/2/2019
  150. Polluting log burner fires will be banned under government clean air drive 16/2/2019
  151. North East to get nine ultra-modern electric buses after winning £1.6m funding bid from Government 8/2/2019
  152. Polluting log burner fires will be banned under government clean air drive 14/1/2019
  153. ‘Totally clueless’ Rival councillors clash in fiery debate on the future of Newcastle’s transport system 10/1/2019
  154. Council comes under fire for scrapping plans to boost cycling in Newcastle 10/1/2019
  155. ‘Abject failure and political cop-out’ – fury as drivers could face ‘toxin tax’ 9/1/2019
  156. Tyneside drivers could be hit with ‘toxin tax’ – here’s what it means for you 8/1/2019
  157. Drivers could face new charge for high polluting vehicles – but it won’t be enough to tackle emissions crisis 8/1/2019
  158. The 10 most polluted streets in Newcastle have been revealed 5/1/2019
  159. Taxi drivers call for clean air toll plans for Newcastle roads to be scrapped 13/12/2018
  160. Councils’ plans over possible clean air toll will reach government before 2019 22/12/2018
  161. Newcastle City Council reveals when a possible charge for driving in the city centre could come in 6/12/2018
  162. This letter has drivers fearing Newcastle is set to introduce a ‘congestion charge’ 5/12/2018
  163. Congestion charges for cars could happen if the bus company behind Go North East gets its way 12/11/2018
  164. Tyne Bridge toll ruled out in Newcastle Council’s bid to tackle air pollution 2/11/2018
  165. Could Newcastle parents soon be fined for leaving their engine running outside school gates? 30/10/2018
  166. Stagecoach urges politicians to ‘think bus’ to beat congestion and pollution [Advertorial] 23/10/2018
  167. Council urged to take ‘real action’ on Newcastle’s air pollution instead of asking Theresa May 30/8/2018
  168. Nick Forbes and UK city bosses urge Theresa May to tackle air pollution ‘crisis’ 28/8/2018
  169. Tyne Bridge toll: The alternative options council bosses could look at to tackle air pollution 3/8/2018
  170. Government ‘guilty of negligence over air pollution in Newcastle and Gateshead’, says council leader 18/7/2018
  171. Tyne Bridge toll fears as councils still haven’t published plan on air pollution 19/7/2018
  172. How polluted is the North East? UK cities – including Newcastle and Sunderland – ranked 2/5/2018
  173. Arriva deny North East air quality accusation after moving eco-buses to Leeds 26/3/2018
  174. The North East’s most polluted roads which breach legal levels are revealed 26/7/2018
  175. Students won’t be able to open windows at Newcastle towers blocks – because it’s too polluted 5/7/2018
  176. New petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 – but is that too long to wait? 2/6/2018
  177. High Level Bridge earmarked as part of cycle route improvement plan between Newcastle and Gateshead 3/4/2018
  178. Have you seen that ‘tree’ sculpture in Newcastle city centre? It could improve your quality of life 16/3/2018
  179. The smog on the Tyne is all mine – What Newcastle community is doing in fight against pollution 13/9/2017
  180. Potential Tyne Bridge toll branded ‘stupid’ and a ‘ransom’ for drivers 10/8/2017
  181. Tyne Bridge toll: How much could it cost and how might it work? 8/8/2017
  182. Fears Tyne Bridge could be hit with toll as council accused of dragging feet over air pollution 7/8/2017
  183. Bus bosses want to charge you for driving your car in Newcastle – what do you think? 17/5/2017
  184. Drivers who use diesel cars could soon be hit with a £20 A DAY ‘toxin tax’ 2/4/2017
  185. Newcastle has some of the worst air pollution in the UK – so why do so few people care? 5/3/2017
  186. Think the air around Newcastle is a tad dirty? You’re not alone – just ask the EU  15/2/2017
  187. Plan for North East congestion charge of £12.50 a day to cut air pollution 19/12/2016
  188. Inquiry reveals fears about air pollution and urges Government to invest in Nissan electric vehicles 2/9/2016
  189. Recent car tests reveal level of average emissions up to 5 times higher than recommended 26/4/2016
  190. Should diesel car drivers pay an extra £800 in tax? 18/3/2016
  191. West Road in Newcastle has ‘illegal’ levels of air pollution, Government data shows 19/11/2015
  192. Tyne and Wear Transport Users Group stage Newcastle city centre protest 16/7/2015
  193. Gosforth High Street in line for major shake-up as council reveals revamp plans 5/7/2015
  194. North East toxic smog: Everything you need to know as plume of air arrives in UK 19/3/2015
  195. Newcastle University say traffic pollution could be up to 60% worse than thought 15/12/2014
  196. Keep schools away from main roads to prevent hundreds of deaths, say MPs 8/12/2014
  197. New ‘app’ which can change traffic lights from green to red trialled in the North East 20/10/2014
  198. Air quality fear backs council plan for Gosforth High Street 28/2/2014
  199. 20mph plan to cut down on pollution 28/2/2013
  200. Plans to revamp Gosforth’s roads unveiled 27/2/2013
  201. Green space a breath of fresh air for the city 13/10/2008
  202. Just who are the Smoggies? 5/8/2006
  203. Exhaust fumes ‘killing babies’ 18/5/2004
  204. Crackdown over air quality to hit drivers 5/3/2004