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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  March 2015  /  Pollution at London’s railway stations

Pollution at London’s railway stations

This year’s Frank Carter Lecture and Prizes

Pollution at London’s railway stations

Each year, a special Frank Carter Lecture is delivered at UCL to honour the memory of Professor Frank Carter (1938-2001) who taught Geography at UCL and The School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) from 1966 to 2001.

On 10th March, this year’s lecture was delivered by Professor John Thornes (University of Birmingham) on, London’s railway stations – benefits or unintended consequences for commuters?

John showed that enclosed and sub-surface stations, both on Network Rail and the London Underground, can be the focus of high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate air pollution respectively. Some monitoring on the rail network also samples the wrong pollutants (e.g. Carbon Dioxide) and convey a misleading picture.

Both diesel and electric trains are important sources of air pollution, although in different ways. While it reaches very high levels along Oxford Street, conditions are much worse in the Underground.

The lecture series is generously funded by Mrs. Krystyna Carter, who also offers two Frank Carter Prizes for the best Master’s projects by students in UCL Geography and SSEES each year.

In 2014, the prize winners were:

Laura Marshall, for a project entitled “Transforming gender, transforming spaces” (UCL Human Geography).

Daniel Kral, for a study of “The political economy of crisis adjustment in Central-Eastern Europe” (SSEES Social and Historical Studies).


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