Defra issues 'Sahara smog' warning as Somerset braces itself for air pollution influx

This is The West Country: Sahara 'smog' could hit Somerset Sahara 'smog' could hit Somerset

PEOPLE across Somerset are braced for what could be the worst air pollution to hit the UK in 60 years.

Experts have warned "very high" levels of pollution are expected to sweep across parts of the country in the next few days.

The east of England and midlands are among the worst-affected areas, but large swathes of England and Wales, including the west, will see high levels of pollution, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

A spokesman said: "The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara.

"We want to keep improving air quality and have introduced a new five-day forecast service in addition to investing heavily in local and transport initiatives to tackle this issue head-on."

The high levels of pollution are expected to continue across parts of the Westcountry until Friday (April 4).

People with heart and lung conditions have been warned to avoid strenuous activity.

This week, people found their cars to be covered in a light coating of red dust. The Met Office said that a large amount of sand and dust was swept up by storm winds in the Sahara Desert.

Have you been affected? Get in touch or send us your pictures to newsdesk@countygazette.co.uk, or tweet @CountyGazette

 

Comments (12)

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11:11am Wed 2 Apr 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Don't worry though, no matter how bad it gets there will still be plenty of idiots out there driving without lights especially those who drive Land Rovers, BMW's, Mercs and Audis as they still have a problem finding their indicators.
Don't worry though, no matter how bad it gets there will still be plenty of idiots out there driving without lights especially those who drive Land Rovers, BMW's, Mercs and Audis as they still have a problem finding their indicators. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: -2

12:50pm Wed 2 Apr 14

GoingGreen says...

How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise.
How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise. GoingGreen
  • Score: -5

11:54am Thu 3 Apr 14

sfj642 says...

GoingGreen wrote:
How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise.
I take your point but I don't think this is the right time to suggest that people should be breathing deeply?
[quote][p][bold]GoingGreen[/bold] wrote: How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise.[/p][/quote]I take your point but I don't think this is the right time to suggest that people should be breathing deeply? sfj642
  • Score: 1

11:57am Thu 3 Apr 14

sfj642 says...

Can't see across the Channel to see Wales - that's a bonus! :-)
Can't see across the Channel to see Wales - that's a bonus! :-) sfj642
  • Score: 1

1:42pm Thu 3 Apr 14

GoingGreen says...

sfj642 wrote:
GoingGreen wrote:
How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise.
I take your point but I don't think this is the right time to suggest that people should be breathing deeply?
Was thinking more long term than just this week.
[quote][p][bold]sfj642[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GoingGreen[/bold] wrote: How about those that can, opt for not jumping in the car and walk/cycle instead. How bad will it get before people change their ways where possible, and government re-prioritise.[/p][/quote]I take your point but I don't think this is the right time to suggest that people should be breathing deeply?[/p][/quote]Was thinking more long term than just this week. GoingGreen
  • Score: -1

3:04pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Slow down! says...

Oh well!

I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me!
Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me! Slow down!
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Thu 3 Apr 14

GoingGreen says...

Slow down! wrote:
Oh well!

I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me!
Do you stop at the top of the stairs to catch your breath too?
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me![/p][/quote]Do you stop at the top of the stairs to catch your breath too? GoingGreen
  • Score: 1

3:28pm Fri 4 Apr 14

BaldyLocks says...

Slow down! wrote:
Oh well!

I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me!
I was driving at 85mph on the motorway yesterday, along with plenty of other people. In what way is this more acceptable than running a red light?
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me![/p][/quote]I was driving at 85mph on the motorway yesterday, along with plenty of other people. In what way is this more acceptable than running a red light? BaldyLocks
  • Score: 1

5:08pm Sun 6 Apr 14

mansell5 says...

BaldyLocks wrote:
Slow down! wrote:
Oh well!

I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me!
I was driving at 85mph on the motorway yesterday, along with plenty of other people. In what way is this more acceptable than running a red light?
Well that's not exactly rocket science now is it?! On a motorway you are all going in the same direction. Running a red signal is obviously risking conflict with someone who has received a green and not expecting another road user to be there.
[quote][p][bold]BaldyLocks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me![/p][/quote]I was driving at 85mph on the motorway yesterday, along with plenty of other people. In what way is this more acceptable than running a red light?[/p][/quote]Well that's not exactly rocket science now is it?! On a motorway you are all going in the same direction. Running a red signal is obviously risking conflict with someone who has received a green and not expecting another road user to be there. mansell5
  • Score: 1

9:32am Mon 7 Apr 14

Slow down! says...

GoingGreen wrote:
Slow down! wrote: Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me!
Do you stop at the top of the stairs to catch your breath too?
I also do the routine from Rocky too!


As for driving at 85mph that’s up to you if you want to follow all the other sheep! But I can honestly say I've never gone over 69mph whilst on the motorway (I save my speed for the race track) as I'm a responsible person behind the wheel and in the saddle when I'm on a bike.
[quote][p][bold]GoingGreen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Oh well! I'll try not to rev my car so much when I'm stopped at some traffic lights (that's right Cars stop!) when I have a cyclist in front of me![/p][/quote]Do you stop at the top of the stairs to catch your breath too?[/p][/quote]I also do the routine from Rocky too! As for driving at 85mph that’s up to you if you want to follow all the other sheep! But I can honestly say I've never gone over 69mph whilst on the motorway (I save my speed for the race track) as I'm a responsible person behind the wheel and in the saddle when I'm on a bike. Slow down!
  • Score: 2

10:00am Mon 7 Apr 14

Slow down! says...

-1 ha ha haaa

someone got out of bed the wrong side this morning! ;-)
-1 ha ha haaa someone got out of bed the wrong side this morning! ;-) Slow down!
  • Score: -3

5:44am Wed 9 Apr 14

Dr Dave says...

69mph on a motorway is positively dangerous these days.......
69mph on a motorway is positively dangerous these days....... Dr Dave
  • Score: 1

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