Doing nothing should not be an option for Wales' most polluted road

Hafod yr Ynys residents have endured dangerous levels of air pollution for far too long.

A council has been advised in a report to "do the minimum" to address air quality in Hafodyrynys in Caerphilly, the most polluted road in Wales.


Responding to the news, Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru and Vice Chair of Healthy Air Cymru, said:

‘Doing nothing should not be an option – breathing dirty air is affecting people’s lungs and hearts right now, and impacting the most vulnerable in society.

‘The situation’s been allowed to continue for far too long already and taking a ‘do minimum’ option and waiting for technology to change by 2025 is not good enough.

‘Caerphilly Council needs to take a comprehensive approach, working with residents, local partners and the Welsh Government to introduce effective measures to urgently improve air quality across the Caerphilly area.

‘The people of Caerphilly deserve to breathe clean air.’


Joseph Carter, Head of Devolved Nations for the British Lung Foundation and Chair of Healthy Air Cymru, said:

Air pollution has been shown to cause lung cancer, worsen heart and lung disease and impacts the most vulnerable in society.

‘People in Caerphilly, like other towns in Wales, should not have to breathe air that is harmful to their health.

‘Hafod yr Ynys residents have endured dangerous levels of air pollution for far too long.

‘Caerphilly County Borough Council must engage with residents and the local community to clean up the air in this area. Compulsory purchase is a radical proposal but this should be a matter of discussion for the residents and their elected representatives.

‘It is right that the council focuses on Hafod Yr Ynys because of the ClientEarth court case which has been dubbed Wales’ most polluted road, but we must remember other areas in Caerphilly also suffer from air pollution.

‘The council must aim to go beyond compliance and ensure everyone in Caerphilly can breathe clean air. We call on them to work with Public Health Wales and other partners to do a full assessment of the impact of air pollution on people.

‘This highlights the urgent need for the Welsh Government to publish their Clean Air Zone Framework and work with local authorities on the Clean Air Plan.’


Healthy Air Cymru is a coalition of partner organisations in Wales, including Friends of the Earth Cymru and the British Lung Foundation Cymru, that works to improve the quality of the air we all breathe.

Healthy Air Cymru are calling for a new Clean Air Act for Wales that would enshrine in a law the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines; mandate Welsh Government to produce a statutory air quality strategy every 10 years; provide a statutory duty on local authorities to appropriately monitor and assess air pollution, and take action against it, and introduce a ‘right to breathe’ whereby local authorities are obliged to inform vulnerable groups when certain levels are breached.

We need to clean up our air now - for our health and our planet.


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