"Ditch the car" call on Clean Air Day

Cristina Cross
June 24, 2018

Parents are being urged to pick quieter roads to protect them from toxic air and also ditch the auto, because pollution inside vehicles is 50 per cent higher than on the pavement.

Air pollution is now the largest environmental risk factor linked to deaths in England, with the majority of air-pollution related deaths worldwide (58 per cent) caused by heart disease or stroke. Our report called on Government to promote cross-departmental working, force auto manufacturers to contribute to a Clean Air Fund, and commit real financial support to local authorities breaching NO2 limits.

Children in cars stuck in traffic are exposed to double the level of pollutants than youngsters walking along even busy roads, raising their risk of health problems including asthma and potentially reducing the growth of their lungs.

The report also said that improvements to air quality can only be sustained by co-ordinated cross-departmental action on policy development, legislation, taxation and spending.

The council are urging people to look into other modes of transport when they need to travel.

This will require any individual bus operating on a public local bus service, into the Clean Air Zone, five or more times per day to be ultra low emission bus standard.

Air pollution is a hidden killer and it hits children, older people and the poorest hardest.

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Commenting on the move, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, said: "It's great to see Metrolink get on board the Clean Air Day campaign with this free travel offer".

According to the sustainable transport group Greener Journeys, if we all switched from auto to bus just one journey a month, it would mean one billion fewer vehicle journeys on our roads, saving two million tonnes of Carbon dioxide every year, helping to ease pollution and congestion.

"Unsurprisingly, rural areas are more likely to have cleaner air".

"Through practical workshops and assemblies, we are teaching children the importance of air quality so they and their families can then make choices to reduce their pollution". "Indoor air pollution needs to be taken as seriously as outdoor air pollution".

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: "The biggest cause of air pollution is road transport, particularly diesel vehicles, so we need to take action to discourage the most polluting vehicles from entering the worst-hit parts of the city".

Auto parking-operator CitiPark is supporting the day by raising awareness of how electric vehicles can help to reduce air pollution.

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